AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A 60-year-old man is dead after he tried to swallow a plastic bag of marijuana while deputies were detaining him earlier this month, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
David Palmer was pronounced dead at 5 a.m. Monday at Georgia Regents Medical Center, Lt. Allan Rollins said. He had been in the hospital since Sept. 16.
Around 10:35 p.m. on Sept. 16, a deputy was speaking with a woman on the 2300 block of Turkey Trail Drive when Palmer rode up to the woman's residence and went inside.
The woman said Palmer was an acquaintance of hers and asked the deputy to wait while she went inside to talk to him, according to the sheriff's office. The deputy then heard yelling and fighting.
When the deputy went inside, he found the woman on the floor with injuries to her face, according to an incident report. Palmer was standing over the woman with his fist drawn back.
The deputy drew his stun gun, turned it on and told Palmer to step away, according to the report. The deputy did not use the stun gun on Palmer.
Palmer was detained, handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol vehicle, and deputies went back to check on the woman.
When deputies returned to the patrol vehicle, they saw Palmer with a plastic bag that appeared to contain marijuana inside his mouth, according to the sheriff's office. When deputies tried to remove the bag from his mouth, they said he became combative and tried to swallow the bag.
Palmer started choking on the bag, and deputies tried to help him until EMS arrived, according to the sheriff's office. EMS removed the plastic bag and took Palmer to the hospital.
The medical staff at Georgia Regents Medical Center notified the sheriff's office on Sept. 18 that Palmer's condition had deteriorated. He was unresponsive and was not expected to survive.
The sheriff's office initiated an internal investigation and also requested an independent investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
None of the deputies involved has been placed on administrative leave.