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Man becomes unresponsive in back of Phoenix PD car, dies

A man died while in custody after police responded to a report of a man acting erratically and looking into vehicles in a shopping center parking lot.
Credit: Sky 12

PHOENIX — After leading a police officer on a foot chase Tuesday morning, a suspect later became unresponsive in the back of a Phoenix Police vehicle and died, police say. 

According to police, officers were dispatched to a shopping center near 51st Avenue and Indian School Road after a caller said the suspect was looking into vehicles and making obscene gestures. 

An officer arrived and watched the suspect look into other vehicles while acting erratically, police say. The officer drove toward the suspect and the suspect fled on foot, running across 51st Avenue, south of Indian School Road.

The suspect was seen going into a convenience store and the officer went to make contact with the suspect. That's when the suspect exited the store and threw a drink in the officer's face, according to police.

The officer chased the suspect on foot before finally grabbing him and taking him to the ground. Two more officers arrived and eventually the suspect was subdued and handcuffed. 

Police later identified the suspect as 28-year-old Ramon Timothy Lopez.

Phoenix PD says officers utilized a leg restraint to keep him from kicking, due to his erratic behavior.

The suspect was placed in the back seat of a police vehicle, out of the roadway and fire personnel was called to evaluate him, police say.

Phoenix PD says that once they were in the parking lot, officers opened the door to speak with the suspect and noticed he was unresponsive. 

The suspect was then removed from the vehicle and officers began to reposition him and provided him water, Phoenix PD says. 

Firefighters arrived and transported the suspect to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. 

The cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Medical Examiner. 

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