An investigation is underway after a man died while in-custody in Omaha. Police reports show that on at 6:40 p.m. on Sunday, February 12th, police were sent to a home at Happy Hollow Blvd. and Izard Street to check on the well-being of a man who appeared to be intoxicated.
The caller told officers that a man had been sitting on their porch and was knocking on their front door for about an hour. Officers located 31 year old Charles Switch who appeared to be intoxicated with slurred speech and smelled of alcohol.
The policy of the Omaha Police Department is to use civil protective custody to preserve life and prevent injury of intoxicated individuals. Policy dictates those individuals are taken then to the Hope Alcohol Treatment Center at 1490 North 16th Street where they are detained for 24 hours or until the person’s blood alcohol content is 0.01 or lower.
Officers took Switch to the Campus for Hope as he was unable to walk and care for himself. it was determined that Switch’s blood alcohol content was .297. He was taken to a room and officers left.
Just before 10 p.m., staff at the Center for Hope conducted a routine check and found Switch was experiencing a medical emergency. He was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead. An autopsy has been conducted and the final results are pending.
This is being investigated as an in-custody death because Switch was placed on civil protected custody and admitted to the Campus for Hope for detox. The Omaha Police Department Officer Involved Incident Team is conducting the investigation that included interviews with officers and staff at the Center for Hope. A Grand Jury will be convened to review this incident.