Man in family violence case subdued with pepper spray dies in police custody


The Brazoria County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday identified the man as 52-year-old James Dortch Jr. An autopsy has been ordered.

Deputies on Tuesday night were called to a home in Manvel about a man who allegedly used cocaine and assaulted a female relative. Deputies say Dortch was incoherent and mumbling as he fought officers who tried to restrain him.

The sheriff's department says deputies used pepper spray on Dortch, then handcuffed him and took him outside. Deputies say Dortch began having trouble breathing, his restraints were removed and attempts were made to resuscitate the man.

Dortch was pronounced dead at a hospital.

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