UPDATE: Man Dies In Police Custody After Scuffle

Posted on October 1, 2019

UPDATE: Oregon State Police on Monday identified Allen James Pitts as the man who died in Salem police custody on Saturday.

Pitts, 49, reportedly died after fight with Salem police at the Best Little Roadhouse on 1145 Commercial St. S.E., OSP said in a news release.

The state police said managers at the restaurant called police to have Pitts removed because he was being disruptive. When officers arrived in the dining room “a fight ensued,” the release said.

Pitts was taken into custody and officers requested medical personnel, the State Police said. Pitts died after being transported to Salem Health.

Original Story in The Salem Reporter:

A man who resisted police efforts to arrest him Saturday night at a Salem restaurant died hours later at Salem Health, according to a Salem Police Department press release.

According to The Salem Reporter, the man’s identity and details on the circumstances of his death weren’t provided.

The police agency statement issued at 2:51 a.m. Sunday said officers responded at 9:40 p.m. to a man trespassing and causing a disturbance at Best Little Roadhouse, a restaurant at 1145 Commercial St. S.E.

“The man was located and began to resist officers when they attempted to take him into custody for trespass. Eventually, the man was taken into custody, but continued to struggle with officers,” the agency statement said.

Medics treated the man at the scene after police considered he was in “medical distress” before he was taken to Salem Health. The agency is treating the matter as an “in-custody death” and turned over investigation of the matter to the Oregon State Police.

Officers involved were placed on administrative leave, but the agency statement didn’t identify the officers or how many were involved.

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