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Subject Suspected of Stealing Phones Died after Worker Held Him Down by Neck

A man who was pinned to the ground by employees at a Steele Creek, North Carolina, business in February died of a brain injury caused by physical restraint, the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled in an autopsy released Monday. Wallace Scranton, 39, was held face down on the pavement for as long as seven minutes, the medical examiner’s office wrote, citing statements from the employee who held him down.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in February that Scranton and another man were suspected of stealing cellphones from United Wireless Group. Employees grabbed Scranton while trying to stop the theft, police said. Their names have not been released.

The employee told police that he’d wrapped his arm around Scranton’s neck while holding him down, according to the autopsy. Scranton was unresponsive when police arrived and started trying to revive him, and when Medic arrived soon after, he had no pulse, the autopsy said. Scranton was taken to Carolinas Medical Center, where he survived for four days and died on Feb. 18, police said… The Charlotte Observer

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