The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the death of a theft suspect after he was held in a Maplewood police officer’s squad car early Friday.
In a news release, the BCA said there had been no physical altercation between the suspect and officer, and that the officer called for medical attention after the suspect told the officer he had ingested some drugs.
At 5:35 a.m., the officer stopped a vehicle near N. White Bear and Lydia avenues in Maplewood whose driver was suspected of stealing propane tanks from a nearby gas station. The officer verified that the driver was the suspect, handcuffed him and put him in the back of his squad car as he continued to investigate the theft, the BCA said.
The officer then noticed that the suspect appeared to be experiencing “a medical issue,” the BCA said. “The suspect told the officer that he had ingested some drugs.”
Paramedics were summoned, but as they treated the suspect, his condition worsened, the BCA said. He was taken to St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, where he died a short time later.
There is body camera footage of the incident, said the BCA, which will head the investigation.
The Ramsey County medical examiner will release the suspect’s name and exact cause of death.