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Office of Attorney General Clears Officers of the In-Custody Death of Noel Charriez

As a result of a review of the February 24, 2013 in-custody death of Noel Charriez (DOB: 7/9/64) involving his attempted arrest by Providence Police Department, the Office of Attorney General has determined that it is unnecessary to present the matter to a grand jury for review. The matter was investigated by a multi-agency team comprised of members of the Providence Police Department's Internal Investigations and Inspections Division/Office of Professional Responsibility, the Rhode Island State Police and the Office of Attorney General.

The autopsy performed on Mr. Charriez determined the cause of death was "combined cocaine, heroin and bath salt intoxication."

The investigation of this incident revealed that at approximately 1:40 p.m. on February 24, 2013, Mr. Charriez was inside a silver Nissan motor vehicle in the area of 73 Chapin Street that did not belong to him. He was honking the horn and appeared to be under the influence of either alcohol or narcotics. Patrol officers Luis Fernandez, Eugene Craven and James Carr, who were called to the scene by the owner of the motor vehicle, attended to the situation. Mr. Charriez was shouting for the "voices" to leave and that he was "being watched." He was sweating profusely, foaming at the mouth, and becoming increasingly angry and disoriented. Providence Fire and Rescue personnel were also on the scene.

After verbal attempts to get Mr. Charriez out of the vehicle, the officers had to physically remove him from the vehicle. Once outside the vehicle, Mr. Charriez was handcuffed and placed on the ground. Police removed one handcuff at advisement the rescue personnel when Mr. Charriez began to vomit. He became unresponsive and seemed to have no pulse. Officer Craven assisted rescue personnel in getting Mr. Charriez onto a stretcher, where he was immediately treated for cardiac arrest. He was taken by rescue to Rhode Island Hospital, where he coded for a second time and was pronounced dead at 2:35 p.m.

Based on the conclusion that the action of the Providence Police officers did not contribute to Mr. Charriez's death, it was determined that the officers' actions were lawful, and that no further action was warranted.

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