Man who died in Poplar Bluff police custody used bath salts

Friday, September 14, 2012

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A man who died while in Poplar Bluff police custody had bath salts in his system, according to Butler County Coroner Jim Akers.

Charles A. Riels, 40, of Poplar Bluff died July 5 due to excited delirium syndrome aggravated by the use of bath salts, Akers said.

Riels was taken into custody after causing a disturbance and property damage inside Casey's General Store in Poplar Bluff, where he was "yelling incoherently and appearing to be delusional," according to the Poplar Bluff Police Department report. While transporting Riels to the hospital, he "began kicking the windows and security screen in the squad car" as well as the doors and roof, the report said.

The officers stopped to subdue him and a struggle ensued when Riels kicked at them. Riels became unresponsive and officers began administering CPR before an ambulance arrived.

Riels was pronounced dead on arrival at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center.

An autopsy was performed July 6 by Dr. Russell Deidiker at Mineral Area Regional Medical Center in Farmington, Mo. A toxicology report was made available to Akers this week that indicated the presence of the synthetic drugs.

The investigation was conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop E Division of Drug and Crime Control.

Pertinent address:

Poplar Bluff, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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