Autopsy shows man who died in Tuscaloosa PD custody died from drug toxicity

Autopsy shows man who died in Tuscaloosa PD custody died from drug toxicity
A man in a light-colored shirt, identified as Anthony Ware, can be seen running away from police vehicles. (Source: Tuscaloosa Police Department)
A man in a light-colored shirt, identified as Anthony Ware, can be seen running away from police vehicles. (Source: Tuscaloosa Police Department)

TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - The autopsy of a man who died while in Tuscaloosa police custody shows that he died from complications of drug toxicity, according to the district attorney's office.

Anthony Ware, 35, had a warrant out for his arrest on a domestic violence strangulation charge. Tuscaloosa police officers chased him into woods near an apartment on July 10.

Officers caught up with Ware and pepper sprayed him because he was resisting arrest. As they were removing him from the woods, Ware became distressed and had trouble breathing. He was later pronounced dead at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa.

Six officers were involved in Ware's arrest. None of them were placed on leave.

The autopsy report shows Ware had cocaine, meth and alcohol in his system at the time of his death, Tuscaloosa County District Lyn Head said on Wednesday.

"It was noted that although Mr. Ware had an enlarged heart and thyroid and that these conditions would have caused greater danger to himself by ingesting these types of drugs, there was nothing revealed in the close examination of his lungs to indicate that he had asthma," Head said.

The medical examiner said Ware had some minor and superficial injuries that "likely resulted from his running through rough patches of terrain or bushes" and none of those injuries were relevant to his death, Head noted.

The autopsy report will be presented to the Department of Justice for a further review. The autopsy will not be released until after there in an independent and formal grand jury investigation.

The district attorney will hold a press conference in Tuscaloosa about the autopsy results at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

Tuscaloosa police released body camera and dash camera footage of the arrest. You can read details from the 911 call here.

Disclaimer: Some of the video is disturbing. There is strong language used in parts of the video and some of the footage does show Ware. If you would like to listen and watch click here.

Copyright 2015 WBRC. All rights reserved.