The incident report on DPD's public access website regarding Marshall Moreno's death is bare-bones. Yesterday at 4:47 p.m., the 43-year-old died at Baylor Hospital of unknown causes, and his body was taken to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy.
But the cause of Moreno's death isn't quite as obscure as the incident report indicates. As police explained in a news release this evening, Moreno died while in custody after a prolonged struggle with officers.
According to police, Officer Albert Sanchez was working an off-duty job at a Circle K convenience store at 5527 E. R.L. Thornton Freeway when he was approached by Moreno's mother, who told him her son was on drugs and she needed help. Moreno was sitting in the passenger seat of his mother's car when Sanchez approached.
Moreno stepped out of the vehicle, claimed Sanchez was "out to get him," then bolted across Winslow Avenue. Sanchez radioed for help as he followed Moreno through the parking lot of a Shell station before tackling him from behind as he ran toward I-30. A passerby attempted to help subdue Moreno, who continued to struggle as backup arrived.
The officers yelled at Moreno, telling him to calm down and show them his hands, but he refused. Sanchez pulled out his can of pepper spray and dosed Moreno as he continued to struggle. He was finally handcuffed after Sanchez delivered several knee strikes and other officers helped to hold his ankles to prevent him from kicking.
It was only once they had Moreno handcuffed that police realized his breathing was shallow. An ambulance delivered him to the Baylor, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner.