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Former Police Chief Dies Of Heart Attack After Police Scuffle

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The former Rankin Police chief died Friday after an apparent heart attack, while in police custody following an altercation with his estranged wife and her male companion.

The altercation started Friday around 11:30 p.m. at the Meadows Racetrack in Washington County.

Police say former Rankin Police Chief Darryl Briston was at the racetrack when he saw his estranged wife with another man at the Meadows’ casino.

Briston approached them and punched the man in the face, according to the police report.

Casino security then intervened and requested backup from the State Police Gaming Enforcement Office and North Strabane Police.

Briston then ran away and made it at least one-quarter mile before police caught up with him and took him into custody.
Police say Briston resisted their attempts to restrain him and would not follow commands to place his hands behind his back, and was warned that he would be Tased if he didn’t comply.

When Briston didn’t comply, true to their word, police say he was Tased in the “upper right leg” one time for two seconds.

After that, police say Briston complied and was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car.

Sometime after that, Briston started to complain that his handcuffs were too tight and later said that he was also having trouble breathing.

Police called Canonsburg Ambulance and Briston went into cardiac arrest.

He was then taken to Canonsburg General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Washington County Coroner Tim Warco’s report, send out Saturday afternoon, indicated that “there were no signs of any external or internal trauma.”

In 2009, Briston was also arrested for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend, but a judge dismissed the charges on the condition that there was not enough evidence.

Briston was also fired from his job as police chief in 2003 after being convicted of stealing more than $5,000.

The results of the autopsy are still pending.

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