Suffolk Police were not at fault for the 2021 in-custody death of a man they restrained while he was high on fentanyl and cocaine in Port Jefferson Station, the state attorney general's office said in a report released Friday afternoon.

Osiris Mercado, 39, of Coram, died by homicide on Sept. 23, 2021 due to a combination of factors, including acute drug intoxication, cardiomegaly, or an enlarged heart, and being restrained, the report said.

“Having analyzed the evidence in this case and the law, OSI concludes there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the involved officers caused Mr. Mercado’s death or committed a crime,” the report said.

A spokesman for the Suffolk County Police Department declined to comment.

The incident began after a friend of Mercado's called 911 and reported he was “bleeding from the head,” according to Attorney General Letitia James' Office of Special Investigation, which investigates all in-custody and police-involved deaths of civilians statewide.

When the first police officer arrived on the scene at 9:16 p.m. Mercado was “screaming incoherently, and pacing the street in the rain with no shoes,” the report said.

The friend who called 911, identified in the report by the initials C.P., recorded on his cellphone about three minutes of the approximately 7-minute interaction that police had with Mercado, the report said,

The video begins with Mercado on the ground in grass and two police officers kneeling on both sides of him as Mercado occasionally repeated “Oh my God,” the report said.

A female officer told him: “We’re going to get you help.”

The officer attempted to handcuff Mercado, who was initially on his stomach, with his chest “off the ground,” the report said.

“It appears the officers were trying to gain control of Mr. Mercado’s arms,” the report said. “10 seconds later, Mr. Mercado was on his side, still screaming, and a male officer said, “I got one cuff.” At that time, a paramedic and another uniformed person knelt on the ground. The paramedic held Mr. Mercado’s leg with one hand and the remaining three individuals attempted to gain control of Mr. Mercado’s arms.”

The report said there were “no visible strikes or kicks from the officers or paramedics at any time.”

Fifty-three seconds later, according to the report, the paramedics stood up, walked to the ambulance, and removed the stretcher from the ambulance while Mercado continued to scream.

“About one minute and forty-five seconds into the video, the stretcher was laid down next to Mr. Mercado and he suddenly stopped screaming,” the report said.

Narcan was administered to Mercado at around 9:25 p.m., the same time he stopped screaming, the report said.

“Responding officers restrained Mr. Mercado because they believed he was a danger to himself and others,” the report said. “Mr. Mercado had already injured himself before police arrival, and his actions were a potential danger to motorists in streets of the neighborhood where he was found. Mr. Mercado did not respond to civilians’ or officers’ attempts at communication and did not appear to know where he was or what he was doing; officers were unable to verbally de-escalate the situation.”

Dr. Paul Mellen, of the Suffolk Medical Examiner's Office, ruled Mercado's cause of death to be “agitation” due to “acute drug intoxication (cocaine and fentanyl) in [a] setting of cardiomegaly and physical restraint,” the report said. His manner of death was listed as homicide.

OSI sought another expert opinion and Dr. Christopher Milroy, a forensic pathologist from Canada, said Mercado died from acute drug intoxication, the report said.

OSI investigators interviewed Suffolk Officers Kristen Magliola, Douglas Goldman, and Brian Christopher, and paramedics Amit Patel and Eric Nazinitsky, who responded to the scene, as part of its investigation.

Suffolk Police were not at fault for the 2021 in-custody death of a man they restrained while he was high on fentanyl and cocaine in Port Jefferson Station, the state attorney general's office said in a report released Friday afternoon.

Osiris Mercado, 39, of Coram, died by homicide on Sept. 23, 2021 due to a combination of factors, including acute drug intoxication, cardiomegaly, or an enlarged heart, and being restrained, the report said.

“Having analyzed the evidence in this case and the law, OSI concludes there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the involved officers caused Mr. Mercado’s death or committed a crime,” the report said.

A spokesman for the Suffolk County Police Department declined to comment.

The incident began after a friend of Mercado's called 911 and reported he was “bleeding from the head,” according to Attorney General Letitia James' Office of Special Investigation, which investigates all in-custody and police-involved deaths of civilians statewide.

When the first police officer arrived on the scene at 9:16 p.m. Mercado was “screaming incoherently, and pacing the street in the rain with no shoes,” the report said.

The friend who called 911, identified in the report by the initials C.P., recorded on his cellphone about three minutes of the approximately 7-minute interaction that police had with Mercado, the report said,

The video begins with Mercado on the ground in grass and two police officers kneeling on both sides of him as Mercado occasionally repeated “Oh my God,” the report said.

A female officer told him: “We’re going to get you help.”

The officer attempted to handcuff Mercado, who was initially on his stomach, with his chest “off the ground,” the report said.

“It appears the officers were trying to gain control of Mr. Mercado’s arms,” the report said. “10 seconds later, Mr. Mercado was on his side, still screaming, and a male officer said, “I got one cuff.” At that time, a paramedic and another uniformed person knelt on the ground. The paramedic held Mr. Mercado’s leg with one hand and the remaining three individuals attempted to gain control of Mr. Mercado’s arms.”

The report said there were “no visible strikes or kicks from the officers or paramedics at any time.”

Fifty-three seconds later, according to the report, the paramedics stood up, walked to the ambulance, and removed the stretcher from the ambulance while Mercado continued to scream.

“About one minute and forty-five seconds into the video, the stretcher was laid down next to Mr. Mercado and he suddenly stopped screaming,” the report said.

Narcan was administered to Mercado at around 9:25 p.m., the same time he stopped screaming, the report said.

“Responding officers restrained Mr. Mercado because they believed he was a danger to himself and others,” the report said. “Mr. Mercado had already injured himself before police arrival, and his actions were a potential danger to motorists in streets of the neighborhood where he was found. Mr. Mercado did not respond to civilians’ or officers’ attempts at communication and did not appear to know where he was or what he was doing; officers were unable to verbally de-escalate the situation.”

Dr. Paul Mellen, of the Suffolk Medical Examiner's Office, ruled Mercado's cause of death to be “agitation” due to “acute drug intoxication (cocaine and fentanyl) in [a] setting of cardiomegaly and physical restraint,” the report said. His manner of death was listed as homicide.

OSI sought another expert opinion and Dr. Christopher Milroy, a forensic pathologist from Canada, said Mercado died from acute drug intoxication, the report said.

OSI investigators interviewed Suffolk Officers Kristen Magliola, Douglas Goldman, and Brian Christopher, and paramedics Amit Patel and Eric Nazinitsky, who responded to the scene, as part of its investigation.

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

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