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Autopsy pending for Mexicali man who died while in police custody

June 24, 2011|By SILVIO J. PANTA | Imperial Valley Press Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — An autopsy is pending Tuesday for the Mexicali resident who died while in police custody at Pioneers Memorial Hospital, officials said Friday.

The man, identified by Imperial County Coroner’s officials as 34-year-old Mario Crespo, was pronounced dead at 8:25 p.m. Thursday.

Crespo, a native of Cuba, was arrested earlier that night on allegations that he was looking into parked cars in the 1600 block of I Street and on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance, said Brawley police Cmdr. Brett Houser.

During Crespo’s detainment officers called for medical aid for Crespo, but Houser didn’t specify what it was that alarmed the officers. Crespo’s handcuffs were removed during the trip to the Brawley hospital where he later died.

There was nothing to indicate any trauma to Crespo  the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office has been notified about Crespo’s death and is set to conduct an investigation, Houser said.

Crespo was technically in police custody while he was being treated at the hospital, Houser said.

Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at spanta@ivpressonline.com

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