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Man dies after 'erratic behavior' and being detained by officers, DeKalb Police say

The department did not make it clear what led to the man's death after officers attempted to detain him in an incident on Friday afternoon.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb Police now say officers used only minimum restraints on a man who ultimately died in their custody - an effort to keep him from hurting himself after he allegedly exhibited "erratic behavior."

Police said the man, who has not been identified, began "striking and damaging the police car" of an off-duty officer in the drive-thru of a Burger King on Evans Mill Road shortly after 3 p.m.

A witness told the officer that the person had then tried to enter his vehicle, "before going into a nearby bushy lot," a statement from the department said.

According to the release, the officer requested assistance, located the man and called for an ambulance when he saw the man's behavior.

The release states "several more DeKalb officers responded to the scene to assist in detaining the man."

The original DeKalb release then said that the suspect "was transported to Emory Hillandale Hospital. After being admitted, he was pronounced deceased."

However, the latest update suggests that the goal of restraining the man in the first place was to prevent him from being a danger to his own safety.

"A preliminary review has concluded that the DeKalb officers used minimum restraints to prevent the subject from harming himself," the update said.

It adds that officers said they didn't notice any physical injuries on the man before he was taken away to the hospital.

Neither release reveals what might have caused his death. 11Alive has reached out to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to obtain the man's identity and clearer circumstances about what happened when he was detained. The agency is currently handling the investigation of the death at the request of the DeKalb County Police Department.

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