Tuesday, December 05, 2000

Death in police struggle termed homicide

By Jane Prendergast and Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The death certificate released Monday of a man who suffocated in Cincinnati police custody officially designates the death a homicide.

        Roger Owensby Jr. died of mechanical asphyxia on Nov. 7 within “minutes” of his apprehension at a Sunoco station in Roselawn, the certificate said. Coroner Dr. Carl Parrott Jr. also wrote that he asphyxiated “during attempts to restrain during arrest by police.”

        Five officers were involved in the arrest of Mr. Owensby, 29, of College Hill. They were in the area that night because of citizen requests for increased police attention to drug activity there.

        Dr. Parrott previously announced that Mr. Owensby died either because of a choke hold or because officers piled on his back.


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