Man Dies After Narcotics Arrest

November 20, 2006

Los Angeles: A man has died after apparently ingesting narcotics contraband during a traffic stop in Baldwin Village.

On Thursday, November 18, 2006, around 11:40 P.M., patrol officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of lower Baldwin Village, in Southwest Los Angeles. As police attempted to make contact with the driver, they saw him place in his mouth, what appeared to be, a plastic bag filled with a white substance. Believing the man to be in possession of contraband, officers detained him, but the man refused to spit out the baggie.

Suspecting the white substance to be narcotics, officers transported the man to Southwest Police Station. On arrival, the man slumped over as police removed him from the patrol car. The officers and their supervisor continued in attempts to persuade the man to remove the substance from his mouth. The suspect refused and began to chew the substance.

After a brief period, the man went into medical distress. Officers requested paramedics, who rushed the man to California Hospital where he later died.

"These situations are not uncommon, when narcotic suspects swallow their drugs when confronted by police," said LAPD spokesperson Lieutenant Paul Vernon. "What they don’t realize is how life-threatening this can be. It appears this case is one of those situations. We will have to wait for the results of the toxicology report for confirmation." Questions may be directed to Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.