JAMESTOWN – Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says the death of a Jamestown man who died after being arrested by Police on February 16 was the result of a drug overdose.
According to a release from the D.A.’s office sent out late Wednesday morning, an Autopsy performed at the Erie County Medical Examiners Office found that Charles Baker, Jr. died as a result of acute intoxication of two drugs, and was determined to be accidental. Foley said the Autopsy Report noted very high and lethal levels of cocaine and the narcotic tramadol in Baker’s blood stream. Foley also said that based upon the findings from autopsy, the investigation into Mr. Baker’s death has been closed.
Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings says the autopsy results are what he had expected. “We reviewed it administratevely months ago after it happened and I was very confident that it wasn’t the result of anything our officers had done,” Snellings told WRFA. “We were waiting for the autopsy just to verify everything and now that the District Attorney has got that in hand, we were informed that the case is now closed.”
Baker had been tased prior to his death and the incident put the JPD under scrutiny for its taser use policy. However, Snellings says his officers followed proper procedure during the incident and will also continue to follow the same policy that was in place prior to Baker’s death. “Everything is going to stay as it currently was. There was no issue with the deployment or the amount or the level of force that we used given that situation.”
In February, Baker – who was on parole at the time of his death – was the passenger in a car that was pulled over by the Jamestown Police Department for a traffic violation. He was allegedly in possession of drugs and was placed under arrest and brought to the police station for processing.
According to the official report from the Jamestown Police Department, officers say Baker become combative while being processed and a TASER was used once, to bring him under control. After being Tased, he was placed into a restraining chair so booking could be completed. Within two hours of being brought in for booking, he began experiencing seizures and he was sent to WCA Hospital for treatment. Not soon after arriving at the hospital, he was pronounced dead.