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Man dies after being pepper sprayed by police

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  • In this June 19 photo, Miller County Sherriffs' Office Sgt. Dewayne Floyd fires a 450 Cobra Pepper Spray gun at a tree during a workshop for the Texarkana Texas Police Department and surrounding law enforcement offices on the proper techniques and procedures concerning the non lethal weapon at the training facility in Texarkana, Texas. (Jerry Habraken/The Texarkana Gazette via AP)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. » A man in Alabama collapsed and died after officers sprayed him with pepper spray while arresting him after a chase, Tuscaloosa police said Saturday.

Anthony Dewayne Ware, 35, was pronounced dead on Friday at a Tuscaloosa hospital, according to police.

Tuscaloosa Police Sgt. Brent Blankeley said Saturday that officers responded to a call that a suspect wanted on charges of attempting to elude police was on the front porch of an apartment.

Police said Ware ran into nearby woods and struggled with officers when they caught up with him. Officers sprayed him with oleoresin capsicum, more commonly known as pepper spray, according to police. The chemical agent debilitates a person by causing temporary blindness and irritating a person’s nose and throat.

Ware began having troubled breathing and collapsed as they were walking out of the woods, authorities said.

Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Lyn Head said that compassion was shown to Ware and that an officer began CPR as soon as it was evident he was in physical distress.

The six officers who were involved in Ware’s case will remain on duty during an investigation, according to police. Officials said police car dash cam and body camera footage of the incident would be released after that investigation.

"Video is being reviewed and will be released to the public as soon as investigators say it can be released without hindering the ongoing investigation," Assistant Chief Ronnie Dunn told The Tuscaloosa News.

Tuscaloosa police said, under standard procedure, the incident is under investigation by a team of investigators from both inside and outside the Tuscaloosa Police Department.

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