Man dies of strangulation after shirt catches in escalator

Credit: KING

Man dies of strangulation after shirt catches in escalator

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by ALLEN SCHAUFFLER and LIZA JAVIER / KING 5 News

KTVB.COM

Posted on April 12, 2013 at 8:57 AM

SEATTLE -- A man died of strangulation over the weekend after his shirt got caught in Metro tunnel escalator in downtown Seattle.

The incident happened just after 5 a.m. Sunday at the Third and Seneca entrance to the University Station.

Seattle Police Department’s report on the incident describes surveillance video which shows the man staggering and leaning on the side of the escalator. About three-quarters of the way down, he falls backwards, tries to raise his head, but his shirt appears caught. The police report describes him trying to sit up, struggling briefly, then being still.

A passerby hit the emergency stop button about 10 minutes after the incident, administered CPR and called for help. Police, fire department and Metro personnel quickly responded to the scene, but the man died.

The medical examiner identified the man as Mauricio Bell, 42, and said he died of strangulation.

Police later said they found a half-empty bottle of brandy in Bell’s back pocket.

While the police investigation is over, the state Labor and Industries Department has launched their investigation into the incident.  Investigators say the escalator was overdue for repairs, beyond “normal maintenance,” and have shut down the escalator until all repair work on it is complete.

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