BENNINGTON — One of three suspects involved in a drug-related search warrant died in police custody Thursday afternoon after the Bennington Police Department arrested him.
Vermont State Police troopers, who were called in per standard procedure after the death, stated there is no indication that Bennington Police used physical force on the man.
The as-yet-unnamed man was taken into custody around 3:50 p.m. as Bennington officers served a search warrant at the Apple Valley Inn on U.S. Route 7. He was arrested and taken to the Bennington Police Department, where he was placed in a holding cell. A Bennington police officer found him unresponsive at about 4:40 p.m.
According to a statement released by Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette on Friday, the individual was observed unresponsive, sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall. The officer checked the individual and immediately requested assistance from the Bennington Rescue Squad. The officer then evaluated the person and began providing emergency medical care. Members of the rescue squad arrived and continued providing medical care. All efforts to revive the person failed. The individual was pronounced dead at the scene.
A news release from the Vermont State Police stated that the individual was pronounced dead at 5:19 p.m. His name is currently being withheld until his family learns what happened, police said.
Following standard procedure, according to the VSP release, Bennington Police notified the Vermont State Police of the death at 5:30 p.m., and detectives from the Bureau of Criminal Investigations responded to the station to perform a death investigation. That probe continued into Friday morning.
An autopsy of the deceased individual will be conducted at the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington to determine the cause and manner of death.
“The Bennington Police Department is participating and will continue to fully cooperate with this investigation,” Doucette said of the investigation into death of the suspect. “Based on the pending investigation, no further info is available at this time.”
Inquiries to the Bennington PD for further comment were unanswered.
As a result of the search warrant and evidence located, Jody Dwyer, 47, and Zachary Rose, 35, both of Bennington, were charged with possession of a controlled substance. Dwyer and Rose were issued a citation to appear in Bennington Superior Court on Monday for the offense. Rose was detained on an outstanding arrest warrant related to charges of heroin possession, cocaine possession, and depressant possession. He allegedly failed to appear for a court date this past February.
Rose was arraigned Friday afternoon on three counts, heroin possession, cocaine possession and narcotic possession, all related to his outstanding warrant. He was escorted in to the courtroom in chains by both a sheriff’s deputy and a Bennington Police officer. Rose pleaded not guilty to all counts and was given a $500 bail. He has a second arraignment coming up on the drug charge stemming from the motel incident. Dwyer will be arraigned separately.