A man died Tuesday in police custody after officers who were responding to a domestic violence call used force to arrest him.
Police received a call just before midnight concerning a man walking out in the street and displaying rage in Larnaca’s Kamares area. He was also suspected of stealing car keys from a vehicle belonging to a woman, who had stopped to get water.
The man, described as a 34-year-old Greek Cypriot male of Arab descent, was suspected of domestic violence.
When police arrived, they found many neighbours outside a residence while male screams could be heard from inside the home.
As the screams went on, officers entered the residence and saw a 10-year-old girl in the yard and another female of foreign origins inside the home, in a state of shock in one of the bedrooms.
The suspect kept hitting the officers who moved him to the porch and handcuffed him but then he turned blue and became unresponsive
Cops then approached the man, who was kicking objects around the house and became even more upset at the sight of the police, stricking one officer in the face.
This prompted officers to use force in order to put him down and handcuff him.
According to police, the suspect kept hitting the officers who then moved him to the porch where they finally handcuffed him and tried to calm him down.
But shortly after calming down, the suspect turned blue and became unresponsive, according to police. At that moment, officers removed the handcuffs and attempted to resuscitate the man. An ambulance was also called to the scene.
The suspect was transported to the Emergency Room at Larnaca General Hospital, where doctors on duty tried to revive him according to CNA News Agency.
The man died at 1:35am Wednesday morning, while a urine sample came back positive for cocaine, according to CNA who also said the suspect was known to police for drug violations.
The woman, who lived with the suspect, was also examined by Larnaca ER doctors who determined she had suffered abrasions and redness of the skin.
She later told police that the suspect had severely beaten her when he got wind of the cops outside his home.
Two officers were also treated for injuries and were later released from hospital.
State forensic pathologist Eleni Antoniou, who conducted the autopsy Wednesday morning at Larnaca General, determined that the suspect's death was casued by acute pulmonary edema while additional lab test results were still pending.
Larnaca CID are investigating the case while police also said they would ask for an independent investigator in order to maintain objectivity as the suspect died while in police custody.