CELL DEATH BLAMED ON COCAINE
TWO FORENSIC doctors told a coroner's inquest yesterday that the death of a man in police custody in 2003 may have been caused by swallowing a bag of cocaine.
Dwight Haughton, 32, died in a police cell at 31 Division on Jan. 3, 2003, a few hours after he was arrested on charges of obstructing police, possession of cocaine and failing to comply with a court order, the inquest heard yesterday.
Dr. Toby Rose, a forensic pathologist, performed a post mortem on Haughton on Jan. 6. She testified that she found "no evidence of injuries" other than a bruise at the back of his head, which apparently occurred when Haughton went into convulsions and banged his head on the cell floor.
Dr. Rose told coroner's counsel, Satinder Besrai, that she found both a rock and a bag of cocaine in Haughton's digestive system.
Further tests showed the presence of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in Haughton's blood.
Rose said she concluded Haughton died as a result of "cocaine toxicity."
Court heard that Haughton and two other men were pulled over at 5:45 a.m. on Jan. 3, 2003 by Const. Anthony Lamanna, a Toronto police dog officer, for a traffic violation on Jane St. at Wilson Ave.
A "crack pipe" was spotted on the driver's side floor and the two of the three men were taken into custody.
The inquest continues.