City: Man dies in police custody after swallowing drugs

File photo: CBS Austin

A man died in police custody Sunday morning after ingesting a “substantial” amount of drugs.

A statement from the City of Austin details the incident, beginning with Austin Police and Austin-Travis County EMS responding to a call of a male who had swallowed a large amount of drugs and appeared to be in distress at approximately 7 a.m.

Police believed the male was under the influence of narcotics and placed the male in handcuffs for the safety of the officers and public.

When the subject’s health began to deteriorate, ATCEMS transported him to the hospital. En route, the subject went into cardiac arrest and later died at 11:28 a.m.

A spokesperson for the Austin Police Department tells CBS Austin that the male, identified as 33 year-old Chris Givens, was not placed in a patrol car. Givens was handcuffed inside the residence and transferred to ATCEMS for evaluation. When it was determined that Givens was to be transported, police removed the handcuffs.

Givens was considered to be in custody during the entire process even if not being in physical possession of the police.

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