Death in Custody during Drug Raid

December 22, 2008 2:02:57 PM PST
The Fresno Police Department says 36-year-old Andre Deshon Henry tried to hide evidence and then run away from officers before he was caught and handcuffed.Investigators say as it turns out, while they were picking through the home Andre Henry was eating the evidence.

Tonight his cause of death is unknown. The coroner is waiting on toxicology results to make a final ruling.

It was around 7:30 Thursday night Fresno police showed up to this southwest Fresno home with a drug warrant in hand.

The suspect, Andre Deshon Henry was home at the time with several family members.

Chief Jerry Dyer: "There was a confidential informant that was used over the last 10 days to purchase rock cocaine from an occupant at that residence and therefore a warrant was prepared and served."

Police say Henry initially tried to escape through a window but was caught, handcuffed and then seated on the couch.

A while later the suspect started shaking and that's when his uncle says he realized he'd been swallowing the drugs.

Dewayne Moore, Henry's Uncle: "I think he was trying to chew it up. Cause he was chewing the whole time they was doing the raid. It seemed funny to me but he's always eating so I didn't pay attention until he started he gave me this crazy look when I was trying to put his shoes on him."

Henry died a short time later. The Fresno County Coroner's office is working to find a cause of death.

Family members are now critical of the officers, who they say waited too long to call for help once Henry started convulsing.

"Regardless of what he had in his mouth, if they'd have got help when I asked them to get help, he'd be alive right now. He'd be in jail right now, not going to the graveyard."

Henry's Cousin Andrea, was home during the raid and says Henry also had high blood pressure and other health issues. She describes him as a fun loving person, who was finishing up classes to become a chef.

Andrea Patilla: "He was kind. He always was here he played with all the kids. He got a little boy of his own."

Family members say Henry served time for murder during the 90's. He was also arrested 6 months ago by the Fresno County Sheriff's Department on drug charges.


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