A Maui man who breached security at Honolulu Airport in February had methamphetamine in his system and died after his heart suddenly stopped beating, the Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office said.
Charles Kosi, 48, died of complications of sudden cardiac arrest during a physical struggle, the office said today. Other factors in his death were: methamphetamine toxicity, dilated cardiomyopathy, atherosclerosis coronary artery disease, hypertension, and obesity, the office said. The manner of his death was ruled a homicide.
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating, halting the flow of blood to the brain and other organs, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Sudden cardiac arrest differs from a heart attack, which happens when a blockage stops blood flow to the heart, and the heart usually doesn’t stop beating, the organization said.
Deputy Medical Examiner Masahiko Kobayashi said Kosi had 900 nanograms of methamphetamine per milliliter of blood in his system. Asked to provide a frame of reference for that amount of methamphetamine, Kobayashi said he has seen cases in which individuals had higher amounts of methamphetamine and others where individuals died of lower amounts.
Kobayashi said the autopsy does not show when Kosi took the drugs or how much he took. Also found in Kosi’s system were the breakdown products of methamphetamine, a prescription drug for his heart condition, and caffeine.
Kobayashi said the case was classified a homicide under the guidelines of the National Association of Medical Examiners. A homicide means actions by others appear to have contributed to a death and does not imply criminality or an intent to harm or kill, he said.
The state Department of Transportation said Kosi used force to pass through the exit of a security checkpoint at the commuter terminal about 5:50 a.m. Feb. 18.
He made it through a set of secured doors to a walkway outside of the building when security grabbed him, a DOT spokesman said.
Kosi was combative and struggled with security after being detained, then became unresponsive, the spokesman said. Officials treated Kosi, who later died at a hospital.
A police spokeswoman said the case remained under investigation.