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Man’s death under investigation in Hayti, Mo.

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 7:31 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 9:46 PM CDT
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HAYTI, Mo. (KFVS) - A man’s death in Hayti, after an altercation with police, sparked a Missouri State Highway Patrol investigation.

Family and friends identified the man who died as 35-year-old DeMarcus Williams.

While Hayti’s police chief did not name the man involved, he did describe the encounter with his officers that afternoon.

The incident happened at the Cleveland Apartments on Oates Street in Hayti.

Hayti Police Chief Shane Wiseman said they responded to assist an ambulance crew with a man he described as being in an altered mental state.

Wiseman said the subject became combative and one of the officers tased him.

According to Chief Wiseman, during the altercation the subject was armed with a piece of broken glass and was attempting to use it to cut one of the officers.

The chief said once police had the man in wrist restraints, they saw he was having trouble breathing.

The man was taken to Pemiscot Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Family and friends say they are shocked about what happened.

”It’s hard, ‘cause he was a best friend. He was somebody, like, I’ve never had a best friend like that. I wouldn’t call him my best friend, I’d call him my brother. He was more like a brother. Because when I had a problem, I would go to him. He would help me through it,” said Hannah Roberts, Williams’ best friend.

Chief Wiseman said at this time he believes his officers acted within the department’s policy on use of force.

According to Chief Wiseman, one of the officers was treated for minor lacerations and was released.

The Pemiscot County Coroner said he’s waiting on toxicology and pathology reports to determine how Williams died.

Hayti police asked for assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Sergeant Clark Parrott said the Missouri State Highway Patrol is still investigating .

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