Man dies in Philly transit police custody

September 27, 2011 2:31:26 PM PDT
Philadelphia police are investigating the death of a man while he was in the custody of transit police.

Authorities say the man died Friday after being pepper-sprayed by Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority officers.

Officials say two officers pursued the man after receiving a report of someone stealing copper wire from a rail yard in the city's Logan neighborhood. Investigators say the man grabbed one of the officers, prompting the other to hit him with pepper spray.

The man was pronounced dead at a hospital after the SEPTA officers drove him there because he complained of trouble breathing.

The man's fiancee tells WTXF-TV that 48-year-old Willie McCray may have made a mistake, but "nobody has to die."

SEPTA says the officers have been assigned to desk jobs, per agency policy.