The Illinois State Police are investigating after a man died shortly after being arrested following a foot pursuit with Waukegan police officers Thursday afternoon.
The Waukegan Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division responded to a home in the 600 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue around 3 p.m. Thursday to conduct a narcotics search warrant, the department said.
While police were at the home, they observed a man, who had an active arrest warrant, arrive at the residence. The man exited his vehicle and began walking up to the home but ran from police when they approached him.
Waukegan Police Department Commander Joe Florip said that as the man fled on foot, he began eating an unknown white substance. The man fell while he was running and police tried taking him into custody, Florip said.
While being taken into custody, the man continued to chew the unknown white substance and refused commands from officers to spit it out, Florip said.
“The subject becomes physically distressed and the detectives called the Waukegan Fire Department,” Florip said in a statement. A Waukegan Fire Department ambulance transported the man to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Lake County Coroner’s Office responded to the hospital to begin their investigation and an autopsy has been scheduled for Friday, according to Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper.
Police said that the man was a Waukegan resident in his 30s. His name will be released once his family has been notified, Florip said.
Because this is considered an in-custody death, Waukegan Police Chief Wayne Walles requested the Illinois State Police to conduct an investigation, Florip said.