Photo: Did Jose Muniz choke on a bag of cocaine?
Jose Muniz is dead after allegedly swallowing a golf ball-sized bag of cocaine during an altercation with narcotics officers this week.
On Wednesday night, Bronx narcotics officers allegedly witnesses Muniz, 52, in a drug exchange in front of a Norwood bodega.
When officers attempted to arrest Muniz, he allegedly attempted to hide the drug. Trying to restrain him, officers used pepper spray. Witnesses say police eventually had to take him to the ground to handcuff him. Though police say Muniz fell.
After getting him in handcuffs, police say they noticed Muniz, who has been arrested dozens of times, had stopped breathing.
He was given CPR at the scene and en route to Bronx North Central Hospital, but he died a short time after his arrival.
An investigation is currently underway, as there are conflicting reports as to what actually killed Muniz. Muniz’s cause of death, according to police, was a heart he had during the scuffle.
Witnesses say officers were ordering him to spit something from his mouth, though Muniz claimed he did not have anything and began resisting the officers trying to handcuff him.
Some are claiming Muniz was brutally beaten and choked by police, causing his death, while other theories include Muniz dying as a result of choking on the bag.
NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly:
When you look at the video, there were no blows struck. here was wrestling, if you will, and also pepper spray was used.
Some reports say Emergency Medical Responders removed a bag from Muniz’s throat en route to the hospital.