Investigation spurred after police custody death in Berrien Springs Village

BERRIEN SPRINGS — A suspect who was taken into custody early Sunday morning in Berrien Springs died later after experiencing medical difficulties, according to the Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township Police.

The incident leading to the suspect’s arrest occurred at 1:24 a.m. Oct. 22, when a Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township Police Officer was dispatched to an address on W. Union Street in the Village of Berrien Springs on a report of a possible malicious destruction of property complaint. While speaking with the caller, the suspect, a 51-year-old white male, was seen in the area.

A Berrien County Sheriff’s deputy located the suspect in the parking lot of the 5/3rd Bank on Cass Street in Berrien Springs. 

The suspect resisted arrest and had to be physically restrained. The suspect was taken into custody. Officers called for an ambulance at the scene as the suspect was experiencing medical difficulties. The suspect was transported to Lakeland Hospital where he was declared dead at approximately 2:30 a.m. 

The suspect’s name is withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township officer and the Berrien County Sheriff’s deputy have been placed on paid administrative leave, as is customary, pending the investigation of this incident.  The investigation will be referred to an outside agency, which is standard protocol in this type of incident.

Agencies who responded to the scene included Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township Police Department, Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Medic 1 Ambulance.

Updates will be made available as the investigation progresses.        

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