SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State Police are now taking the lead in the case involving the Schenectady Police Department.
Schenectady Police say after attempting to pull over 36-year-old Andrew Kearse on Ward Avenue, he stopped the car and took off running, leading officers on a brief foot chase.
They tracked him down in a backyard one street over on Donald Avenue.
They say while sitting in the back of the patrol car on the way back to the police station, Kearse started complaining that he felt dizzy and was having trouble breathing.
Police say that’s when the officer called paramedics to meet them at the station. By the time they got there he was unresponsive. He was then rushed to Ellis Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Susan Perry, Kearse’s girlfriend, says she was arrested Thursday during the same incident for obstruction because it was her home on Ward Avenue that Kearse ran inside of fleeing from police.
She and Kearse were taken back to the station in separate cars, but at the same time.
While she says this very well could have been a result of some sort of medical condition, she says the officers waited too long to get him the help he needed.
“I can’t get the picture of him lying on that ground motionless,” Perry said. “My thing is I seen the police report they said that he complained that he had difficulty breathing while he was in the back of the car and that he felt dizzy. They’re saying they seeked medical attention immediately and they didn’t. I was in that police station for over 15 minutes before they came and got the AED machine and before I even heard the sirens. So you had him out there lying on the ground and he was probably dead then.”
After speaking with Perry, NEWS10 ABC reached out to the Schenectady Police Chief and the State Police to see if they had anything to say in response to her side of the story.
“On May 11, 2017 a member of the Schenectady Police Department was involved in a traffic related incident that lead to Andrew Kearse being placed under arrest. While in police custody, Mr. Kearse became unresponsive and required medical attention. Mr. Kearse was rendered medical assistance by members of the Schenectady Police Department and Schenectady Fire Department and transported to Ellis Hospital where he succumbed to this medical condition and passed. An immediate notification to the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office was made and the New York State Police were brought in to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death. I have turned over the investigation into Mr. Kearses death to the New York State Police and offered full cooperation from the Schenectady Police Department. Additionally, the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office has made a notification to the New York State Attorney General’s Office, who is providing additional oversight to this investigation.
As chief of the Schenectady Police Department I recognize that incidents of this nature create questions in the community that people want and deserve to have answered, and that the failure to immediately answer them may give rise to public concern.
It is my intention to oversee an objective, independent review of all actions taken by the police during this arrest, but stress that it is important that incidents be thoroughly and independently investigated before all of these questions and concerns can be answered and ultimate findings can be made.
I ask for the public’s patience with the release of facts, as none will be made available until the New York State Police conclude their investigation.”
New York State Police:
“As with any active investigation there are facets and details that are not complete. So until we have a more thorough picture of what happened we will not comment. It would be premature to release any information.”