Prince George’s Co. police launch investigation after man dies while in custody

Prince George's County Police Chief Henry Stawinski speaks at a Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019 news conference. (WTOP/Liz Anderson )

A death investigation is underway in Prince George’s County, Maryland, that started with a call about a man going from home to home and knocking on doors early Sunday morning.

A ride-share driver traveling in the 1400 block of Kings Manor Drive in an unincorporated area of Bowie reported the man’s suspicious behavior at around 5:30 a.m.

“That male was described as naked and appeared to be under the influence of something,” said Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski at a news conference that was also live-streamed for community members. “That individual approached a particular home and engaged the doorbell video system.”

Stawinski said the man sat down in the doorway. The homeowner tried to talk with the man through a doorbell app, but he was incoherent.

When two county police officers arrived to check on the man’s welfare, they found him wearing only underwear and socks.

He was still on the ground and moving in an erratic manner, but grew agitated as paramedics arrived on the scene.

The officers handcuffed the man and took him to an ambulance for evaluation.

After about 20 minutes of observation and care, paramedics asked the officers to remove the handcuffs because the man’s condition was getting worse and “he appeared to be entering some sort of medical distress,” Stawinski said.

They “immediately initiated CPR and took lifesaving measures. But in that ambulance, while attending to him, unfortunately, that individual passed away and was pronounced [dead] on the scene,” the police chief said.

Police identified the man as 38-year-old Kevin Antonio Jessie. He lived in the same neighborhood where he died.

An autopsy is expected on Monday.

The county police department’s Internal Affairs Special Investigation Response Team will investigate the circumstances surrounding Jessie’s death, which is standard procedure when someone dies in police custody.

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