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Suspect Dies In Henderson Police Custody

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HENDERSON, N.C. — A man who Henderson police arrested Tuesday night died after being sprayed with pepper spray, according to the Henderson Police Department.

Just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, police arrested Larry Thomas Comer, 37, of 103 Carter St., for allegedly breaking into a house off at 618 Highland Ave.

Police said that when a police officer arrived at Highland Avenue, he was directed by neighborhood residents around the corner to Sunrise Avenue, where several citizens were trying to detain a man, who police said was acting in an irrational manner.

The residents identified the man as the one who allegedly broke into the Highland Avenue home moments earlier and tried to run away.

The officer gained control of the man using pepper spray and handcuffs, but Comer went into unexpected medical distress and an ambulance was called, police said.

CPR was initiated at the scene and Comer was transported by EMS to Maria Parham Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.

Because Comer died after an officer had placed him into custody, the Henderson Police Department requested the State Bureau of Investigation to respond and handle the death investigation aspects of this case, including interviews with eyewitnesses.

Dr. Bill Dennis, a Vance County Medical Examiner, examined the body and reported preliminarily that there were no apparent signs of any trauma, police said.

The SBI and the Office of the State Medical Examiner will attempt to identify the cause of death after an autopsy and laboratory analysis.

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