Cause of Jamestown Police detainee's death undetermined

Feb 18, 2013

It may be months before it's clear why a 30-year-old parolee died on Saturday while in the custody of the Jamestown Police Department.

What turned into a violent booking in Jamestown Police Headquarters on Saturday is under investigation after 30-year-old Charles Baker subsequently died in WCA Hospital.

Baker, of Jamestown, was a passenger in a car driven by Cindy Frank which was stopped by police. When the vehicle was searched, police say drugs were found on Baker. Later, drugs were found in the rear seat of the patrol car. When Baker was searched at police headquarters, more drugs were allegedly found.

In the course of the booking, Baker was Tasered after police say he became violent. He was put into a special custody chair and taken to a holding cell where he almost immediately suffered a seizure. Baker was taken to the hospital where he died about two hours later.

Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says there was an autopsy at Erie County Medical Center Monday morning and there won't be an immediate cause of death listed.

"Conversations with those that I sent to attend the autopsy indicate that there will be no determination as to the cause of death until the toxicology tests are returned which could take several weeks, if not a few months," Foley told WBFO News.

Foley says once more information is known, it will be his job to determine whether the incident involves any criminal culpability.

"I need to look at the Jamestown file. I need to review any videotapes that they may have on the initial encounter. Then I need to look at the final autopsy report and probably have a conversation with the medical examiner," Foley said.

Foley says the actions of the arresting officers will be reviewed by the State Commission of Corrections.