Incident at 2037 Mangum

January 21, 2008 - Houston police are awaiting autopsy results on a man who died following an apparent seizure as officers were questioning he and another male in a narcotics investigation at 2037 Mangum about 3:15 a.m. on Sunday (Jan. 20).

The deceased male is identified as Eric Junin Chavarria Jr. (w/m, DOB 12-6-85) of 1242 Summer Park Lane in Katy. He was pronounced dead at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital.

The other male was arrested at the scene for narcotics possession.

HPD Homicide Division Senior Police Officers C.P. Abbondandolo and J.C. Bonaby III reported:

Officers C.M. Zamora and P.L. Kelley were on routine patrol and driving through the parking lot of a nightclub called “Perfect Rack” at 2037 Mangum. The area is known for narcotics, gang and weapons activities. The officers saw Mr. Chavarria and another male sitting in what appeared to be a gray, four-door Buick with its windows down. The officers got out of their patrol vehicle and immediately smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the Buick. Both males were making overt movements inside the vehicle as the officers approached. Chavarria, in the driver’s seat, quickly got out of the car and started drinking an unknown substance as he walked toward a truck. The other male, in the passenger’s seat, began reaching under the seat and attempted to get out of the vehicle when officers advised him to remain in the vehicle.

Officers searched the males and the vehicle. The male passenger was found in possession of powder cocaine and arrested at that time. Chavarria was not initially arrested. Shortly afterward, officers gathered information that he was in possession of a larger amount of powder cocaine than the passenger. Chavarria was standing beside Officer Kelley when he fell against the officer’s back. Officer Kelley immediately turned around to see what Chavarria was doing and saw him fall backwards to the pavement. It appeared Chavarria was having a seizure. Officers called for an ambulance and then rolled Chavarria on his side as he continued having a seizure, and then appeared to stop breathing. Paramedics arrived and transported him to the hospital.

A witness told officers that Chavarria had admitted swallowing more than one quarter of an ounce of drugs.

As is customary in in-custody deaths in the city, the incident is being investigated by the HPD Homicide and Internal Affairs Divisions as well as the Harris County District Attorney’s office.

JFC 1-21-08
Inc #009440108

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.