ASIRT investigating death of man taken to hospital by police after mental health assessment


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The provincial police watchdog has been directed to investigate a man’s death after he was taken to hospital by Edmonton police under a Mental Health Act arrest.

Members of the EPS Police and Crisis Team Unit (PACT) as well as two patrol members attended a home near 87 Street and 112 Avenue on Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. for a mental health assessment on a 43-year-old man, a news release said Friday

Police said the assessment was requested by the man’s psychiatrist who was concerned for his client’s well-being after a violent incident was reported the day before. After the police finished their assessment the man co-operated with officers who took him to the hospital. He was placed in a secure holding room in the hospital’s emergency ward.

At 2:14 p.m. that same afternoon, hospital staff asked for police help in moving the man to a mental health ward. As they were moving the man, who is described as being six-foot-four and 250 pounds, an altercation occurred between him, police, hospital staff and hospital security. A Taser was used to get the man under control and he was given a sedative.

A short time later the man went into medical distress and was not breathing. He was taken into a trauma room and was given CPR. He was later pronounced dead.

One officer was treated by hospital for minor injuries, including bite marks and scratches to his face.

EPS said the director of law enforcement has been notified and the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has been directed to lead the investigation into the man’s death.

ASIRT did not respond to requests for comment Friday evening.