Man dies after cutting himself in rampage He bled to death while locked up in bathroom. Death seen as accidental.

July 02, 1991|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Evening Sun Staff

A 37-year-old man, who went on a destructive rampage inside a house in the 1600 block of N. Durham St. early today, bled to death when he accidentally cut himself on pieces of broken glass or porcelain, police said.

David Benjamin Whitfield, of the 4400 block of Clareway, was pronounced dead in the second-floor bathroom of 1612 N. Durham St.

According to Sgt. Edward Adelhardt of the homicide squad, Whitfield frequently visited the house, which is occupied by a woman and Whitfield's nephews.

Adelhardt said Whitfield gained entry to the house shortly after 1 a.m. while the woman and children were out and began !c destroying furniture.

The woman came home, heard the sounds of destruction from outside and called police.

Adelhardt said that when police arrived, they attempted to get into the house but backed off when Whitfield, who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, told them he was armed with a gun and would kill them.

After several minutes, Whitfield ran upstairs and locked himself inside the bathroom and kept yelling that he was armed and would shoot, Adelhardt said.

In the bathroom, Whitfield began breaking up the porcelain sink and toilet and throwing pieces from the window, Adelhardt said.

About 2:30 a.m., the house became quiet.

Adelhardt said police then forced their way into the bathroom and found Whitfield on the floor and bleeding severely from several deep lacerations of the right wrist. He said Whitfield was pronounced dead at the scene.

He said the type of wounds Whitfield sustained indicated that the lacerations appeared accidental.

Adelhardt said an autopsy was to be performed today to determine the exact cause of death. No gun was found in the house, he added.

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