A man died while in police custody last night when he choked a golf ball-sized bag of cocaine after struggling with cops in the Bronx, authorities said.
Bronx narcotics cops allegedly saw Jose Muniz, 52, make a hand-to-hand drug deal in front a Norwood bodega on Jerome Avenue at around 10:50 p.m. before officers tried to arrest him, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters today at a press conference in Harlem.
When Muniz saw plainclothes cops approaching, he allegedly tried to hide the drugs.
“We believe that the individual took a golf ball-sized package of cocaine, and put it into his mouth,” Kelly said.
The cops grabbed Muniz and pepper sprayed him during a struggle before he was on the ground and cuffed, Kelly said. That’s when officers noticed that Muniz had stopped breathing.
“He choked on that bag and CPR was given to him at the scene and en route to the hospital,” he continued.
Muniz died a short time later at Bronx North Central Hospital, authorities said.
Kelly said that the Internal Affairs Bureau would continue to investigate the incident.
Cops said Muniz had been arrested over 30 times including for narcotics possession, burglary and possession of a firearm, among other crimes.
Republished with permission of The New York Post.