THE POLICE conduct watchdog is appealing for witnesses to assist its probe into the death of a man detained after falling from a roof in Coventry.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident on Robin Hood Road, Willenhall, on September 29.
The 31-year-old man was detained by West Midlands Police at around 7.30pm, after falling from the roof after crashing a car and fleeing into a nearby property, the police had announced.
He died in hospital the next morning.
A police statement said he had been arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary after they were called and he was found to have fallen from the roof.
But police later said their subsequent investigations had shown he had not been involved in burglary.
The IOPC says its investigators carried out house to house enquiries on October 1 and revisited the area last week.
It remains hopeful of identifying any further witnesses, CCTV or other video footage of the incident.
IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: “I would like to send my condolences to the family of the man who died.
“We have met with them to discuss our role and we will keep them regularly updated on our investigation.
“Our focus is on the interaction between the man and the police officers who detained him.
“This incident lasted for some time and we gather there were a number of people in the street.
“To help us conduct as thorough an investigation as possible we would urge anyone who saw what happened to come forward as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information should contact our investigation team by calling freephone 0800 029 4688 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
A police statement issued on September 30 said: “Police were called to Robin Hood Road, Willenhall, last night (29 September) at around 7.30pm to reports that a car had collided with parked cars.
“The driver fled from the car and climbed onto the roof of a house nearby before falling.
“On arrival, officers detained a 31-year-old man in connection with an attempt burglary; the ambulance service attended and he was taken to hospital where he died this morning.
“Inquiries are on-going to establish the circumstances of what has happened.
“A mandatory referral was made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) who have launched an independent inquiry.”
West Midlands Police that afternoon released an update to clarify matters: “The man was initially detained on suspicion of attempted burglary due to the calls regarding a confrontation inside the premises.
“However, his medical concerns took priority so was never formally arrested.
“Following the subsequent review and accounts from the residents, there was no suggestion of him attempting to commit a burglary and so, if he were alive, he would no longer be under investigation on suspicion of burglary.”
An IOPC spokesperson said on September 30: “We can confirm we are investigating police contact with a man in Willenhall, Coventry on Saturday evening prior to his death in hospital.
“We understand police arrived and detained the man after he had fallen from a roof at around 7.30 pm.
“He was then taken by ambulance to hospital where he later died.
“We have since declared an independent investigation which will examine the contact police officers had with the man after their arrival at the scene in Robin Hood Road.”