The man who died after a near a Fort Lauderdale park was identified by cops Tuesday.
But police would not say what happened to Thomas Williams, 34, or how he died.
What is known is that Williams resisted efforts to take him into custody on Saturday, that officers used “non-lethal subject control spray,” and that he was taken to Broward General Medical Center and pronounced dead.
Police spokeswoman Casey Liening would not say how many officers were involved in the incident or what their current work status is, citing the investigation, which is being carreid out by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Police were called to Carter Park, 1450 W. Sunrise Blvd., about 4:30 p.m. Saturday because a man “was exhibiting abnormal behavior,” officials said.
Williams was in traffic, outside the park, where he was putting himself and others “in danger,” police said.
When officers tried to take him into custody in order to bring him to a hospital for observation, there was a struggle.
Vince Williams, a barbecue vendor at the park, and whonis unrelated to the victim, said the next day that he witnessed the struggle. He said he saw about a dozen officers approaching a man who appeared to be on drugs.
“He was on something, but he wasn’t bothering anybody and he wasn’t hurting anybody,” Vince Williams said Sunday, adding that the man had been hanging around the park for most of the day.
He said he saw police pepper spray the man as they attempted to arrest him, then bring him farther into the complex, near the building that houses the Carter Park pool.
A few minutes later, Vince Williams said he saw police drag the man on the pavement closer to the park’s buildings where he remained until he was taken away.
A woman name Karrie, who worked at a snow cone stand and did not want to give her full name, gave the same version of events.
“This is an ongoing investigation and the exact cause of death is not known at this time. Detectives are awaiting results from the Medical Examiner’s Office,” Liening said.
FDLE is investigating Williams’ death under a new policy and agreement put into place in February.
Detectives are asking anyone who knew Williams or knows any of his relatives to call Fort Lauderdale police at.
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