MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Schenectady man dies in police custody; probe underway

Andrew Kearse / WRGB Photo

Schenectady Police are speaking out after a man died while in the department's custody Thursday.

Police say the man, identified by State Police as Andrew Kearse, 36, was arrested Thursday afternoon after a chase in a car and on foot.

Police say he complained of dizziness and difficulty breathing. He was treated and transported to Ellis Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The department has turned over the investigation to the New York State Police, but released the following statement:

It is my intention to oversee an objective, independent review of all actions taken by the police during this arrest, but stress that it is important that incidents be thoroughly and independently investigated before all of these questions and concerns can be answered and ultimate findings can be made

Now Andrew's girlfriend is also speaking out about Andrew's death and says she was right there when he was arrested.

"I want people to know what happened to him."

Susan Perry of Schenectady says her 36-year-old boyfriend, Andrew Kearse, died in police custody after officers chased him through her home.

She says she was also arrested and was at the police station when Kearse was brought in.

Police confirm officers took Perry there.

"I saw them drag him out of the police car by his arms, he was lifeless, motionless, when i called his name multiple times, he didn't respond at all,” Perry said.

Perry claims she was there for 15 minutes before officers got an AED.

"He was out there for at least 20 minutes with no medical care because they believed he was faking."

Police say around 4:30 Thursday afternoon, an officer attempted to pull a car over for a traffic violation - they say it pulled into a driveway on Ward street - residents here tell us it was the one belonging to Perry, and they a pursuit on foot started through her house and out the back door.

Neighbors say they saw police run through the back yard after the man, to the spot where police say he was arrested behind another home.

"I really just heard a lot of squealing from the cars, doors shutting, yelling, a lot of commotion,” one neighbor said.

Perry says Kearse likely ran inside because he was scared of the police - and he was in perfectly good health.

"That's a 36-year-old man with nine kids who is dead now over a traffic violation," Perry said.

Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford did release a statement saying, in part, “it is important that incidents be thoroughly and independently investigated before all of these questions and concerns can be answered and ultimate findings can be made."

State Police are now investigating.

Trending