Man 'in distress' dies being restrained by police, sparking watchdog investigation

8 October 2022, 14:50

picture of a police car
picture of a police car. Picture: Kevin Britland / Alamy Stock Photo
Fran Way

By Fran Way

A man who appeared to be ‘running around in the street distressed’ has died after being restrained by police.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has opened an investigation after the man, who has not been named, died in Hertfordshire this morning.

The incident occurred when the officers were called to the area of Eleanor Cross Road in Waltham Cross, just before 11pm last night.

From initial investigations, the IOPC say that police used PAVA spray, which is similar to pepper spray, in a bid to contain and restrain him.

They say he appeared to be having a mental health crisis so the Ambulance Service was called but the man became unwell at the location.

His breathing became laboured and so police started CPR until paramedics arrived just before midnight. The man was pronounced dead at 12.17am.

IOPC investigators attended the scene and the post incident procedures and launched an investigation at 6.10am this morning.

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IOPC Regional Director Graham Beesley said: “Our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends, and all those affected by this tragic incident.

“Our investigators have begun reviewing body-worn video footage obtained from all officers who attended the incident and will be undertaking door-to-door enquiries in the area.

“Our investigation is in its infancy and it’s important that a thorough independent investigation is carried out to ensure we understand the full circumstances.”