Del. Man Dies In Police Custody After Eating Cocaine

OCEAN CITY — The Delaware man who died while in Ocean City Police custody early Sunday morning reportedly told those treating him just before he passed that he had ingested cocaine.

Around 12:24 a.m. on Sunday, Ocean City Police conducted a traffic stop in the area of 8th Street. According to police reports, officers detected the smell of marijuana while approaching the vehicle and requested a scan by the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit. The K-9 detected the presence of controlled dangerous substance and during a subsequent search, OCPD officers located over 1,500 small bags of heroin and additional narcotics. OCPD officers then arrested three individuals in the vehicle without incident.

Around 2:20 a.m., one of the suspects, later identified as Jerry L. Weston, 37, of Greenwood, Del., began to complain of trouble breathing while in custody at the Public Safety Building booking facility. At that time, OCPD booking personnel contacted Ocean City Emergency Medical Services, who responded shortly thereafter.

Upon the arrival of Ocean City EMS, Weston began to seize and went into cardiac arrest. Ocean City EMS began conducting lifesaving measures and transported the victim to Atlantic General Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased around 3:30 a.m. At the request of the OCPD, the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is conducting an investigation into Weston’s death.

The preliminary investigation indicates emergency care was provided and emergency medical personnel were summoned to the Public Safety Building after Weston complained of symptoms including trouble breathing. Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators learned Weston told those treating him he had ingested cocaine.

Weston’s body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy scheduled on Monday to determine the cause and manner of death. Meanwhile, MSP Homicide Unit investigators are interviewing police and medical personnel involved with the arrest, transport and medical treatment of Weston. That investigation is ongoing.

More details will be provided as they become available.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.