Grand jury clears police in NJ man's death

June 6, 2009 12:38:35 PM PDT
A grand jury has found that police in a southern New Jersey town acted properly while struggling with a man who later had a fatal seizure. The panel in Atlantic County ruled this week that Charles Arroyo's death was caused by "excited delirium" - sudden cardiac arrest associated with an acute excited state.

Officers went to the 31-year-old Egg Harbor City man's home in October 2008 after his sister said she was concerned about his and their mother's welfare. They found Arroyo pinning his mother to her bed, and he began choking her as they tried to pull him off.

Authorities say Arroyo resisted and was pepper-sprayed, but kicked one officer in the head and tried to take another's gun. He had the seizure shortly after being handcuffed.

An autopsy found minor abrasions on Arroyo's face and wrist that were not life-threatening. It was ruled his "excited delirium" resulted from his underlying schizophrenia and "violent resistance" to being arrested.

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