City Man’s Death Ruled Accidental

MAYVILLE – The death of a Jamestown man who died while in police custody earlier this year has officially been ruled accidental.

Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley announced Wednesday that Charles Baker Jr., 30, died as a result of acute intoxication of two drugs.

The city resident was in custody following a traffic stop on Feb. 16 and became combative with officers. At one point a Taser was used on Baker; he was placed in a confinement chair for more than two hours, police said.

While being transferred to a hold cell within the city jail, Baker suffered a seizure and was transported to WCA Hospital. While getting treatment he had a second seizure that led to his death, the district attorney’s office said.

According to the autopsy report, Baker had “very high (toxic/lethal) levels of cocaine and the narcotic drug Tramadol in the blood.”

Foley noted that Baker attempted to destroy several packets of cocaine while being transported to the jail. More cocaine was found while being processed at police headquarters.

The autopsy was performed in Buffalo by the Erie County Medical Examiner on Feb. 18. Toxicology results held up the release of the report, Foley said.

The investigation into Baker’s death has been closed.

Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings said his department conducted an internal review of the incident and was awaiting autopsy results.

“We were just waiting to close this out once we heard from the district attorney,” Snellings said.