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Family’s Call For Help Ends With Son’s Death In Police Custody

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas man died in the custody of police, and a family wants answers.

This happened Tuesday in East Dallas, after police were contacted to help family members.

The situation involved a man who was acting erratically. According to family, the man lived with schizophrenia. They were concerned about his conduct.

Now they are concerned about police conduct after he died following their call for help.

Rita Moreno needed police. Her adult son, Marshall was panicking. Bi-polar and in distress is how Moreno described Marshall’s state outside an East Dallas gas station.

Police arrived. She would not see her son alive again. “I saw the officers kicking my son. They had him down on the ground. I told my sister, ‘I gotta go over there.'”

Moreno and three others contacted by CBS 11 say police officers restraining the 43-year old man kicked and stomped him. By the time family members arrived at Baylor hospital, Marshall Moreno would be pronounced dead.

Dallas Police filed a report calling it an unexplained death. In a release sent to CBS 11 Wednesday evening, DPD says an off-duty officer working security at the store walked up to Moreno in his car to see if he could help.  Moreno ran away from the officer and toward the interstate.

The report says because the officer thought Moreno would run onto the freeway, he tackled Moreno and struggled with him.  The men fought over the officer’s pepper spray, which he had removed to use on Moreno to restrain him.

Two other officers arrived to assist.  Handcuffed following more of a struggle, they noticed Moreno was having trouble breathing, and transported him to Baylor, where he later died.

Authorities say because Marshall Moreno died in the custody of officers, the case is now under investigation.

The Medical Examiner office says the cause of death is pending.

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