Man dies in Winston-Salem police custody at hospital after alleged break-ins

Winston-Salem police car. (WGHP file photo)

Winston-Salem police car. (WGHP file photo)

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A man died while in police custody at a local hospital after allegedly breaking into multiple apartments, according to a news release from Winston-Salem police.

At 7:41 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to the 1400 block of Woodruff Glen Drive after a 911 caller reported that 36-year-old Marvin Lenard Wardlow was acting erratically and attempting to force entry into nearby apartments.

As officers were arriving at the scene, another 911 caller reported that an apartment located at 1639 Lincoln Ave. had been broken into. The suspect description matched the description the first 911 caller gave of Wardlow.

A resident was injured in the break-in, police said, and was treated for a large laceration to his face.

Responding officers located Wardlow in an apartment at 1647-A Lincoln Ave. and determined he had forced entry into that apartment as well, the release said. Wardlow was being restrained by a private citizen when officers located him.

When officers placed Wardlow in handcuffs, he was in distress and displaying symptoms of drug overdose or excited delirium, the release said.

EMS was called to the scene. Shortly after EMS arrived, Wardlow became unresponsive, the release said. Wardlow was placed in an ambulance for transport to a hospital.

During transport, EMS workers gave Wardlow naloxone HCl as part of life-saving efforts, the release said. Wardlow died shortly after midnight at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Officers recovered a substance that field tested as cocaine from Wardlow’s clothing. That substance will be submitted for further confirmatory analysis as part of the investigation into this incident, the release said.

The SBI has been notified, as is standard protocol, and will review the incident and interview the responding officers once an autopsy is completed.

The primary responding officers in this investigation were Sgt. H.M. Bryant, Officer T. Shu and Officer T.K. Taylor, the release said.

The officers have been placed on administrative duty during the investigation, which is standard procedure.

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