B.C. student dies after release from police custody
20-year-old arrested in Whistler for being drunk; Vancouver police investigating his death
On Tuesday, he was drinking in the Olympic party town of Whistler. Friday, he was dead.
Vancouver police are trying to piece together exactly what led to the mysterious death of a 20-year-old University of British Columbia student who had been arrested for being drunk, fell in police custody and was found unconscious in a residence room early Friday.
He died in hospital Friday afternoon.
While on a trip to Whistler, the man, whose name has not been released, was arrested for public intoxication by RCMP officers just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, Vancouver police Constable Jana McGuinness said.
“While in the cells, he fell several times,” she said. He was released at 3:30 a.m. the next morning and made his way back to Vancouver.
On Friday morning – 23 hours after leaving the Whistler jail cell – friends found him dead in a UBC residence room. They called 911 and he was rushed to hospital.
“Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., very sadly, he died,” Const. McGuinness said.
The case was originally handled by the RCMP’s Lower Mainland District Regional Police Service, but was turned over to the Vancouver Police after the man went to hospital. New police legislation advises police services to have a third party investigate when someone is injured or dies in their custody.
An autopsy will determine the cause of death and the student’s name will not be released in the meantime, she said.
Feb. 27, 2010
The Globe And Mail