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Houston Police Department

Investigation into Incident at 4700 Shepherd

September 13, 2010 - Houston police are awaiting autopsy results in the death of a male taken into custody at 4700 Shepherd about 7:05 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 10).

The male, Joe Toby Mata, 35, of Houston, was transported to Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital and was later pronounced dead on Saturday (Sept. 11).

HPD Homicide Division Senior Police Officer C.P. Abbey and Officer M. Stahlin reported:

Officers responded to a call of a suspicious person walking in traffic.  When officers arrived, they found Mr. Mata walking in the middle of the roadway in the 4700 block of Shepherd and acting strangely.  The officers tried to talk to Mata but he ignored them and continued walking in the moving lane of traffic.  For the male's safety, officers detained and restrained him and summoned HFD personnel.  Due to Mata's behavior, paramedics transported him to the hospital.

The male's cause of death is pending autopsy results.  However, investigators believe drugs were a factor in the death and that there were no signs of foul play.

As is customary in in-custody death incidents involved HPD officers in the city limits, the incident is being investigated by the HPD Homicide and Internal Affairs Divisions as well as the Harris County District Attorney's Office.


JKS/JFC  9-13-10

Inc. #129890310