LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – An investigation is underway after the Lincoln Police Department says a man experienced a medical episode while being put in custody and later died.
Just before 1 p.m. on Monday, LPD officers were dispatched to the 600 block of N 35th Street as 911 callers reported a man trespassing in a number of yards and stumbling around.
LPD said as officers were arriving, they were notified that the man had entered a home in the 500 block of N 35th Street and was fighting with the homeowner.
According to police, the first responding officer saw the homeowner restraining the man in the basement of the home.
While that officer started putting the man in custody, LPD said the man experienced a medical episode. LPD said the responding officer started performing CPR and called for emergency medical assistance.
Police identified the man as 38-year-old Brandon Ziemelis.
LPD said Ziemelis was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 2:30 p.m.
Investigators said the homeowner explained he was in the basement when he heard his children shouting outside, he then saw Ziemelis enter his home without permission. The victim said he did not know Ziemelis.
LPD said the homeowner confronted Ziemelis about what he was doing in his home, and saw Ziemelis holding an object in his hand that appeared to be an ice-scraper.
According to police, Ziemelis swung the object several times at the homeowner, who then hit Ziemelis in the face before restraining him until police arrived.
Since Ziemelis began experiencing a medical episode that resulted in his death while officers were on scene, LPD said this death is being investigated as an in-custody death by the LPD Criminal Investigations Unit.
LPD said handcuffing was the only form of control officers used during the arrest. According to police, Ziemelis had one hand in a handcuff and it was taken off while he was receiving care from Lincoln Fire and Rescue.
Crime scene technicians processed the scene and collected evidence. Officers also interviewed a number of witnesses.
An autopsy has been ordered to learn Ziemelis’ cause of death.
LPD said the officer was wearing a body camera during this incident and his involvement was captured, however the video footage will not be released because of an ongoing investigation.
According to LPD, neither officer has been placed on administrative leave.
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