Thursday, August 22, 2013
Mesquite police investigating 18-year-old who died in jail
The man was rolling around, screaming, and banging his head on the ground before being taken into custody.
MESQUITE Mesquite police are awaiting results of an autopsy and toxicology reports to determine what caused the death of a man in custody last week.
According to a release from the Mesquite Police Department, police were called to the 2100 block of Crestview Park Drive at approximately 11 p.m. on Tuesday, August 13, after receiving a call to 911 about a man acting erratically.
The caller reported there were three men in front of Wilkinson Middle School and they believed one of them might be on drugs because he was acting erratic by rolling around, screaming, and banging his head on the ground. The caller added that at one point the male ran headfirst into one of the closed doors to the school.
The police found Graham Dyer, 18, lying on the ground with numerous scrapes on his body and contusions to his head. The other men had left the scene prior to the officers' arrival.
Dyer appeared intoxicated and became violent toward the officers when they approached. When the officers attempted to arrest Dyer, he fought with them and bit one of them on the hand. Once inside the back of the police car, Dyer began banging his head on the safety screen.
Paramedics were called to the scene to evaluate Dyer and determined he was well enough for transport, so he was taken to the Mesquite jail, facing charges of public intoxication/substance, resisting arrest, and assault on a public servant.
Dyer was combative all the way to the jail, so he was placed in a restraint chair so that he would not injure himself or someone else. He was placed on a 15-minute check by the jail sergeant.
The chair, according to Hedgpeth, is a plastic recliner with seat belts.
"It places you in an upright position and restrains you from movement so they can't harm themselves or others," Hedgpeth said.
During one of the 15-minute checks, a jail sergeant noticed that Dyer seemed to be in some sort of distress and summoned paramedics to the jail.
"When we do the checks we are looking to see if the person is alert, speaking or has calmed down," Hedgpeth said.
Dyer was transported to Baylor Hospital in Dallas, where he was pronounced brain-dead late Wednesday evening.
"We are awaiting the cause of death from the medical examiner, but other people with him said they had been doing LSD," Hedgpeth said.
The Mesquite Police Department is investigating the incident as a matter of its standard policy.
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