Police watchdog launch investigation after pepper spray death

By Ian Dunt

The police watchdog has launched an investigation after a 25-year-old man died after being pepper sprayed by police officers.

Officers were called to an address in Widnes yesterday afternoon and arrested the man for affray.

During the course of the arrest the man was sprayed with pepper spray, a chemical compound which irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and possibly temporary blindness.

The man was restrained and taken by police van to Runcorn police station, but he became unwell soon after arrival and paramedics were called.

He was taken to Warrington General Hospital by ambulance but was pronounced dead at 7.09 pm.

Investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), who are automatically called in when someone dies in custody, went to Widnes this morning to start gathering evidence and taking accounts from officers.

The man's parents have been informed.