Fla. Cops on Leave After Man in Custody Dies


Seven officers were placed on paid administrative leave after a man died early Tuesday morning after being taken into custody at a Westside hotel.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Curtis James Moss, 28, became disoriented while staying with his girlfriend and his mother at the Red Roof Inn in the 6000 block of Youngerman Circle.

Moss told police he was concerned about people outside in the parking lot. Police said there was no one in the parking lot. Officers said they found reason to take Moss into custody because he seemed delusional. They said Moss was struggling with police, and police called for assistance.

Officers then realized Moss was in medical distress. Police did CPR on Moss, and he was taken to Orange Park Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

JSO Chief John Hartley said police do not know what killed Moss because there were no visual injuries and police did not use any weapons, including Tasers, while taking Moss into custody. Police won't know Moss' cause of death until a medical examination is done.

"There was no weapons used. There was no electronic control device used," Hartley said. "The officers were doing what they had to do. ... It's a sad situation for the officers, for the family, for everyone involved."

Hartley said Moss has had mental issues in the past and was on medication. He said police had a similar encounter with Moss last year in which they had to use a Taser to detain him.

Moss served a 22-month sentence for armed robbery and was released in 2004. He had also been arrested in the past on charges of assaulting a pregnant woman, assaulting a police officer, aggravated assault, resisting arrest and drug possession.

Moss' mother, Denise Moss, said her son was sick and called the police for help. She told Channel 4 that the police killed her son and she claimed Moss' girlfriend said they shocked him repeatedly with a Taser gun in the parking lot.

"I just talked to him on the phone, and then 10 minutes later, his girlfriend called and she said, 'He's not responding,'" she said. "I can't even believe he's gone. They won't let me see him; they won't do anything. It's all under investigation. Come on, let me see my baby."

Denise Moss said her son had three children and celebrated his 28th birthday last Friday.

"The family just wants the truth. They deserve that," family spokeswoman Linda Dayson said.

Curtis Moss' family gathered Tuesday outside his mother's Westside home, where his family had Dayson speak on their behalf.

"He made the call, so to me if there's nothing he was doing," Dayson said. "He didn't have a gun. He didn't commit no crime or whatever. But from my understanding, the girlfriend said that they hog-tied him and stuff. So there's just something that we're really not understanding right now."

It's standard procedure for officers to be placed on paid administrative leave when someone dies in police custody. The Sheriff's Office is reviewing the case, which will go before the response to resistance board.

Moss' family, girlfriend and a lawyer for the family planned to speak out at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday about what happened at the hotel leading up to Moss' death.

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