Salem man dies in police custody


Gregory Roldoriginally published: 26th May 2009
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A 37-year-old Salem man is dead and four police officers were placed on administrative leave after an arrest for trespassing turned violent.

Four officers with the Salem Police Department were called to Carriage Apartments on SE Royvonne Ave. about 7:30 Saturday night after receiving reports of a trespasser. They found Gregory Rold in an apartment and tried to arrest him.

The police department said Rold “violently resisted arrest” and the officers had to use their tasers and batons to subdue him. Results of an autopsy Tuesday were inconclusive and the matter was turned over to Oregon State Police.

Salem Officer Jacob Pratt was injured during the arrest attempt and altercation, according to the department. He was treated at Silverton Hospital. Neighbors said Rold had been living at his mother’s apartment but had recently been banned from the complex for lude behavior.

“He supposedly had been exposing himself to one of the neighbors,” said resident Brandy King. “He used to peek into our windows and say things to the other women around here,” she said.

According to neighbors, Rold had been warned that if he returned to the apartment complex, he would be trespassing. They said he showed up around 6:30 Saturday night, and police were at his mother’s apartment soon after.

“They (police) got in, you could hear a struggle and the next thing you heard were the tasers,” said Shelietha Edwards, a neighbor. “I heard at least 13 tasers going off. I heard him being beaten with the night sticks and they let the dog attack him,” recalled Edwards. “(Rold’s) mom and brother were in the house watching and his mom went to the window and started telling everyone that they were killing her son,” she said.

A statement from the department released to KGW on Sunday morning made no mention of excessive force or of a canine unit.

Once the officers had wrestled Rold to the ground and handcuffed him, they realized he was unconscious and unresponsive, according to the department.

“In the beginning, you could hear him yelling, screaming and then all of a sudden he was quiet, but you still heard the tazers and you still heard the beating going on,” said Edwards.

Officers tried to stabilize Rold and called for emergency medical assistance. He was taken by ambulance to Salem Hospital where he died about 9:30 p.m.

The four officers – Jacob Pratt, Eric Brown, Adam Waite and Corporal Darron Mumey – are on administrative leave while Rold’s death is investigated by Oregon State Police and the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.


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