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Posted on: June 22, 2022

In-Custody Death Under Investigation

Denton Police Department Media Release

DENTON, TX, June 22, 2022 – The Texas Rangers are currently investigating a Denton Police Department in-custody death that occurred Wednesday.

At approximately 11:42 p.m. Tuesday, officers were dispatched to a disturbance in the 600 block of S. I-35E. The 911 caller advised they could hear glass breaking in a hotel room and that a male inside seemed “out of it.” Officers had previously made contact with the same male occupant at approximately 11:22 p.m. when he called 911 to report someone trying to get into his hotel room. Upon officers’ arrival to this initial call, the male stated he was fine and did not need assistance; officers then left the hotel.

Upon arrival to the disturbance call, officers observed two hotel room windows were broken, with a mattress thrown out and glass on the sidewalk below. The male, who was the only occupant of the room, could be heard yelling and screaming. Officers requested medics stage nearby.

Hotel staff provided officers with a key to the male’s room and advised they wanted him removed from the property and charged with criminal mischief. Officers could hear him screaming incoherently and yelling for help. They opened the hotel room door and attempted to speak with the male, who then picked up a piece of a broken bed frame and advanced toward officers. Officers left the room to de-escalate the situation and returned to the hallway.

The male could be heard screaming and yelling from the restroom inside the hotel room. Officers entered the room again and observed extensive damage, including a dismantled bedframe and blood on the bed and mattress. Officers attempted to speak with the male, who remained in the restroom, but were unable to solicit a coherent response. Officers heard glass shatter inside the restroom, and a large piece of glass was pushed from the restroom under the door. Officers again exited the hotel room to isolate the male and allow him time to calm down.

From the hallway, officers continued attempts to speak with the male as they heard additional property damage occurring inside the room. After more than 30 minutes of negotiations, officers made entry into the room when the male got quiet and seemed to have calmed down. The male was lying on the bed, sweating profusely, and telling officers to shoot him. He was placed in double-locked handcuffs without resistance or the use of force. Due to the male rolling around and attempting to kick officers, a leg restraint was used to wrap his ankles, and he was physically restrained for his safety.

The male then experienced a medical episode and became unresponsive. Medics, who were staged throughout the incident, transported him to a local hospital for treatment. On Wednesday morning, Denton PD was notified of the male’s death. His identity is not being released at this time, pending family notification.

The investigation is ongoing, and all inquiries regarding the investigation status should be directed to the Texas Rangers. Per department policy, Internal Affairs is conducting a thorough, concurrent administrative investigation.

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