Parolee's death after swallowing drugs
ruled accidental choking
By Ari Barak and Emmett Berg, Bay City News
February 27, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Accidental choking, and not an
overdose, caused the death of a 42-year-old San Francisco man
who swallowed a bag of crack cocaine during an arrest
in January, a San Mateo County coroner's office spokeswoman
The man was identified as Herbert Watt, 42, the spokeswoman said.
Watt, a parolee, was pulled over in the 100 block of Ralston Place
in San Francisco on the afternoon of Jan. 18, after officers noticed
his vehicle was without license plates, according to San Francisco
police Sgt. Steve Mannina.
Police then found a golf ball-sized bag of crack cocaine on Watt,
Mannina said. The drugs were placed on the hood of the police
car as they began handcuffing him, according to Mannina.
A struggle ensued and Watt was able to somehow consume the drugs
and "went into distress immediately," Mannina said.
Watt was taken to a hospital in Daly City where he was pronounced
After an autopsy, the coroner's office ruled Watt's cause of
death to be accidental asphyxiation with cardio-pulmonary arrest,
as a result of choking on the drugs, according to the coroner's
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