A man who struggled with and injured three Prince George's County police officers died early yesterday at an area hospital, shortly after he had been restrained by the officers, authorities said.
Authorities said Cedric L. Gilmore, 41, was pronounced dead at Prince George's Hospital Center a short time after he was handcuffed and placed in an ambulance because officers said he was "belligerent" and appeared to be hallucinating. They said Gilmore, of the 900 block of Westlake Drive in Largo, lost consciousness on the way to the hospital.
"Right now we have a case of a man who was arrested without incident, who was placed on the curb and checked by paramedics, and who appeared fine until he lost consciousness in the ambulance," said Barbara Hamm, spokeswoman for the county police. "We don't know at this point whether the officers had anything at all to do with his death, and so we're waiting for the results of an autopsy."
The officers were identified as Yvain Sullivan, Herbert Mitchell and Angela Lane. Hamm said they were placed on administrative leave with pay pending an internal investigation.
The officers, who work as patrol officers in the Palmer Park district, were called to a townhouse community on Westlake Drive, where Gilmore lived, after someone called authorities shortly after midnight and said Gilmore was chasing a woman in the parking lot. The caller said Gilmore had a metal object in one hand, Hamm said. She said that when the officers arrived, Gilmore was sitting inside a minivan and was "belligerent and hallucinating."
While the officers waited for paramedics, Gilmore kicked out the rear window of the minivan, crawled out and charged at the officers, Hamm said. She said the officers told him to stop, but he continued toward them and a "struggle ensued." The officers suffered minor cuts and bruises, she said.
The officers eventually subdued Gilmore, Hamm said, and they placed him under arrest. The officers sat Gilmore on a curb, and minutes later he was placed on a stretcher and taken away by ambulance.
Gilmore's death was the first in-custody death for Prince George's police in more than two years. Four people died while in county police custody from April 1999 to May 2000.
In 2001, one man died in the custody of Mount Rainier police.