RCMP probe Creston man’s ‘in custody death’
CRESTON, B.C. – RCMP are probing the death of a man who fell down and hit his head while he was in their custody.
What police say they are doing now is probing an “in custody death” after a pathologist ruled that the head trauma contributed to the death of Marvin Gene Asmunt who had been arrested for being drunk.
The 61-year-old Creston resident died on Sept. 18 following his injury in police cells on Sept. 7.
“During his brief time in custody, Mr. Asmunt fell and sustained a head injury, while a RCMP officer was present,” said said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.
Part of the investigation will centre on whether the police contributed to the man’s injury in any way.
“The RCMP have commenced an investigation to determine what connection, if any, there is to the death of Mr. Asmunt on September 18th and his time in police custody on September 7, 2009. Mr Asmunt death is being classified as an “in custody death,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.
“Mr Asmunt passed away while in hospital care at the Creston Hospital on September 18, 2009, 11 days after being in police custody on September 7, 2009 at the Creston RCMP Detachment,” said Moskaluk.
“The Creston RCMP Detachment was made aware of Mr Asmunts death by the BC Coroners Service on September 19th, 2009, at which time the RCMP investigation was initiated,”stated Cpl Dan Moskaluk.
“On September 7, 2009 at about 5:27 pm Creston RCMP responded to a public complaint of an intoxicated male in an alley on the 1400 block of Vancouver Street in Creston,” he said.
“As a result of the complaint, Mr. Asmunt was arrested under authority of the Liquor Control and Licensing Act for being intoxicated in a public place and taken into custody at the Creston RCMP Detachment,” he said.
“During his brief time in custody, Mr. Asmunt fell and sustained a head injury, while a RCMP officer was present. He was immediately transported to the Creston Hospital around 6:05 p.m. and released from hospital the morning of September 8th.
“On September 9th, 2009, Mr Asmunt was re-admitted to the Creston Hospital and released that same day. On September 13th, Mr Asmunt was again admitted to Creston Hospital and then transferred to Cranbrook Hospital for further medical care. After receiving medical care, he was returned to the Creston Hospital where he passed away on September 18th,” the police spokesman said.
“On September 22nd, a forensic autopsy was conducted in Penticton which revealed the preliminary cause of death as “bilateral pneumonia secondary to a closed head injury,” he said.
“Both the RCMP investigation along with the BC Coroners investigation, will examine all aspects of the death of Mr Asmunt. A complete and thorough investigation is being conducted in order to gather all of the contributing factors which lead to his death,”added Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.
Moskaluk said in an interview there is no video in the cell area and he would not say whether the policeman was with the suspect at the time of the injury accept to say that aspect will be investigated.
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