Police: Man walking on Houston freeway dies after officers try to detain him

HOUSTON – A man who was walking on a Houston freeway died Tuesday after officers tried to detain him, police said.

The incident was reported about 10:20 a.m. on the southbound exit ramp of the Interstate 45 Gulf Freeway near Beltway 8. Houston Police said they received multiple 9-1-1 calls about a man walking in and out of the busy freeway lanes.

Police say he was acting erratically.

In video obtained by Channel 2 News and recorded by a passing driver, the man is seen on the side of the road, waving at cars.

“You can tell, he wasn’t all there,” said Assistant Chief Henry Gaw.

HPD said the first officer on scene found the man on the ground.

“The suspect was a bigger person so the officer struggled with the suspect to try to get him off the freeway safely, but he chose to resist the officer,” Gaw said.

According to investigators, the officer called for back up when the man would not comply with commands.

Two additional officers showed up, and HPD said it took all three to subdue the man and get him in handcuffs.

Cell phone video appears to show two officers on top of the man at one point. The man does not appear to be moving.

“As soon as the officers realized he wasn’t breathing they tried to resuscitate him by giving him CPR and calling for medics. The officers were emotionally distraught they didn’t want to see someone get hurt or much less pass away,” Gaw said.

The man never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police have not yet released the man’s identity.