Officers Cleared in Death of Man Who Died in Custody

Combative man trapped in elevator assaulted fire chief

Three Providence, Rhode Island, police officers have been cleared of wrongdoing in the death of a 63-year-old man who was arrested after fighting with officers.

The Providence Journal reports Special Assistant Attorney General Roger Demers said in a letter to police there was no evidence of criminal conduct in the death of Richard Cosentino.

Demers determined the officers acted professionally and used "only reasonably necessary force."

Cosentino was rescued by firefighters Sept. 6 after he became trapped in an elevator in the Carroll Towers public elderly housing complex where he lived. Police say Cosentino was arrested after he became combative and assaulted the fire chief.

Cosentino stopped breathing and was taken to the hospital, where he died.

The state medical examiner's office said Cosentino died from cardiovascular disease and cardiac arrhythmia.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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