Asthmatic Has Attack In Custody
Following a brief pursuit through Ridgewood streets, a Maspeth man died suddenly after officers took him into custody last Wednesday, Oct. 8, police reported.
The city’s medical examiner is still investigating what killed Daniel Levitt, 46, who resided at the Grand Motor Inn on Grand Avenue in Maspeth. Reportedly, he had asthma and a pacemaker.
Police said the two officers involved with Levitt’s arrest-an officer and a sergeant assigned to the 104th Precinct Anti-Crime Unit-remain on duty as of press time Wednesday, Oct. 15, but an investigation into their response continues. Their identities were not disclosed.
Reportedly, the officers first spotted Levitt sitting on a motorized scooter in front of a Grandview Avenue location at about 2:10 p.m. last Wednesday afternoon.
According to authorities, Levitt took off on the scooter southbound on the one-way northbound Grandview Avenue after catching sight of the officers.
The NYPD stated that Levitt had an outstanding arrest warrant. Court records indicated he was arrested on Aug. 8 on multiple counts of drug possession and was issued a desk appearance ticket to return to court on Oct. 14.
Police said the officers followed Levitt to the intersection of Grandview Avenue and Bleecker Street, where he crashed into the side mirror of a parked Hyundai SUV.
Reportedly, Levitt then attempted to run on foot and was apprehended and handcuffed by the officers a block away on Menahan Street.
Shortly after the foot pursuit ended, law enforcement sources said, Levitt told the officers he was having difficulty breathing and further informed him he had a pre-existing medical condition.
After informing them he had an inhaler for his asthma, the officers reportedly uncuffed Levitt, then provided him with the medication. Sources said he then took one pump from the inhaler.
Thereafter, authorities said, Levitt stood up and then suddenly lost consciousness. The officers reportedly began administering chest compressions immediately, while the sergeant called for an EMS unit to respond.
Paramedics arrived moments later and rushed Levitt to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. His body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy.
The case was presented to the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau for further investigation.