Drug test may shed light on why man died after being taken into deputies’ custody

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 8:43 AM EDT
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GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Aiken County Coroner Darryl Ables said Friday that authorities are awaiting toxicology tests on a man who died after being taken into custody by the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and Ables’ office are investigating the incident that happened March 18.

Ables said an autopsy was performed Monday on the man, 31-year-old Exzabian M. Myers from Graniteville, and the cause of death won’t be released until toxicology results are available.

Myers indicated to deputies that he was under the influence of a substance at the time he was taken into custody, according to an incident report released by the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators say al all unfolded after they responded to the intersection of Marshall and Ergle streets in Graniteville for reports of a male attempting to enter into passing cars and possible robbery.

Deputies say they found Myers in the middle of the roadway with traffic at a standstill. They took him into custody for disorderly conduct.

The incident report states that on contact with a deputy, Myers said: “I’m high as f___. Take me to jail.”

A deputy detained Myers without incident and placed him in handcuffs, according to the report.

Myers began to actively resist by trying to run into traffic and thrusting his body at the officer as well as kicking, the report states.

Other deputies arrived and help place Myers in a patrol vehicle, the report states.

A deputy had to stun Myers with a Taser “in hopes of gaining compliance in order to get subject safely inside the vehicle,” the report states.

The officer began to transport Myers to jail, but Myers began banging his head against the cage in the vehicle, the report states.

The deputy immediately pulled over into the parking lot of Trophies Unlimited and asked for a supervisor, the report states, and Myers began kicking at the window.

A sergeant arrived and helped the deputy apply a leg restraint to Myers, who was found unresponsive.

The sergeant administered Narcan, a medication that can counteract the effects of opioids long enough to get medical attention for a patient.

The sergeant and deputy discovered Myers was not breathing and took him to Aiken Regional Medical Center, where medical staff took custody of the subject.

Ables says he was called to Aiken Regional at 4:19 p.m. on Saturday regarding Myers’ death. He says Myers was to be autopsied in Newberry on Monday afternoon to determine the cause of death.

Sheriff Mike Hunt contacted SLED to investigate the death around 7 p.m. Saturday.

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