Teen fleeing city police dies after choking on suspected drugs

May 02, 2002|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

A 16-year-old boy was pronounced dead last night at Sinai Hospital, apparently after choking on bags of suspected cocaine he tried to swallow while being chased by undercover narcotics officers, city police said.

The youth, whose name was withheld until relatives were notified, was observed in a drug transaction by undercover police officers near the corner of Park Heights Avenue and Cold Spring Lane shortly after 7 p.m., said homicide Detective Al Marcus.

When a second team of undercover drug officers who monitored the scene approached him on foot, the youth fled, said Officer Sheri Albrecht, a police spokeswoman.

Albrecht said the teen ran into a Rite Aid store at the intersection, followed by the plainclothes officers.

Marcus said the youth was seen putting the plastic bags in his mouth as he ran down an aisle in the store, then falling to the floor.

The boy was not breathing, and the officers propped him up. One officer attempted the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the obstruction in the boy's throat. Paramedics arrived minutes later, and rushed the boy to Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly before 8 p.m., police said.

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