National News

Man dies in custody of Transit Police

By The Canadian Press

SURREY, B.C. - The Independent Investigations Office has now taken over a probe into the death of a 41-year-old man who died while in the custody of Transit Police in Metro Vancouver.

A news release from the department initially said the IIO was notified just after midnight and declined to take the case, which was then forwarded to Surrey RCMP for investigation.

But that changed later Friday.

"When the chief civilian director of the IIO reviewed the information provided by the Transit Police this morning, he determined that an investigation was warranted as there had been a death in custody and he had to establish whether or not there was a potential nexus between the death and the actions of the any police officer," said a statement from the force.

Transit Police arrested a man late Thursday night at the Surrey Central bus loop, while he was aboard a Coast Mountain bus.

Officers determined the man was acting irrationally and apprehended him under the Mental Health Act, before taking him to hospital, the first statement said.

The man was described as compliant during the arrest, and police said there was no incident but that he was in medical distress by the time he reached the hospital and could not be revived.

The two police officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, the statement said.

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