Covering Louisiana

May 19, 2011 6:54 AM by Posted by Sharlee Barriere

Man Arrested by State Police Dies in Custody

GRETNA, La. (AP) - A drunken driving suspect who police say
pulled a gun on a state trooper who shocked him with a stun gun died Wednesday after being taken to the Jefferson Parish jail, authorities said.
Sheriff's deputies said they saw Kirklin Woolridge, 29, of Marrero, experiencing some sort of medical problem shortly before 6 a.m., nearly four hours after his arrest. An ambulance took him to West Jefferson Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
"We have a lot of questions," Woolridge's attorney Davidson says. "Kirklin was a father of five in good health. I just saw him Monday and he was perfectly fine. Now today we find out he's gone after a traffic stop. We're going to find out what happened that shouldn't have happened."
State police stopped Woolridge at just before 2 a.m. for improper lane usage. After a field sobriety test, which state police said Woolridge failed, the trooper tried to handcuff him.
Woolridge resisted and the trooper hit him with a stun gun.
State police spokeswoman Melissa Matey said that during the struggle, Woolridge removed a handgun from his waistband but was unable to fire before police got him under control.
Woolridge was then booked on charges of illegally carrying a weapon, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and DWI with child endangerment because his 3-year-old son was in the car.
Another man, Ronald Nixon, 33, of Harvey, a passenger in the car, was arrested on charges of being a convicted felon with a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, possession with the intent to distribute narcotics and not wearing a seat belt.
Woolridge was examined by paramedics at the scene and cleared to be taken to the parish jail in Gretna. No injuries were reported to the troopers or the toddler in the vehicle, Matey said.
The Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office has scheduled an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

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