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ASIRT investigates death of man in Calgary police custody

Click to play video: 'ASIRT investigating after man dies following encounter with Calgary police' ASIRT investigating after man dies following encounter with Calgary police
WATCH: An early morning encounter with police and paramedics in southwest Calgary has left one man dead. ASIRT is now investigating. Adam Toy reports. – Apr 6, 2020

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is investigating the death of a 43-year-old man taken into custody by Calgary police in the community of Erlton on Monday.

According to police, paramedics responded to the 2400 block of Erlton Road Southwest at around 6 a.m. to help with a man believed to be “experiencing a mental health crisis.”

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is investigating the death of a man taken into custody by Calgary police in the community of Erlton on Monday, April 6, 2020. Global News

In a Monday news release, the Calgary Police Service said the man became “combative” with the paramedics, at which time police were called.

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READ MORE: ASIRT investigating after man hospitalized following arrest in Calgary

“As the man was taken into custody, he experienced a medical crisis,” the release stated.

According to police, paramedics assisted the man but he was pronounced dead when they got to the hospital.

“This has been deemed an in-custody death and ASIRT will maintain carriage of the investigation.”

ASIRT investigators are asking anyone who was in that area at the time and witnessed the events to contact them at 403-592-4306.​

Screaming woke neighbour

Jan van de Fleart lives in a second-floor suite near where EMS and police assisted the man.

Van de Fleart said the man’s frequent, unintelligible screaming woke him up early Monday morning.

READ MORE: ASIRT investigating police shooting in Calgary’s southeast

“Every five seconds he would scream out,” van de Fleart told Global News. “I saw him lying on the floor there by the stairs, and there were two EMS ladies and one police officer.

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“They were trying to get him on his feet ’cause he was just lying on the floor in clothes and socks.”

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is investigating the death of a man taken into custody by Calgary police in the community of Erlton on Monday, April 6, 2020. Global News

The next time van de Fleart was drawn to the window, he saw a police officer step in to subdue the “combative” man.

“I heard more noise and then I saw that the guy was on the floor and the police officer was on top of him, ’cause apparently he wasn’t being cooperative. I think he was being handcuffed at that point.”

An autopsy to determine cause of death is expected on Tuesday.

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