Girlfriend speaks out after boyfriend dies in police custody

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SCHENECTADY -- New information we have about the death of a man who died in police custody – CBS6 spoke with the man's girlfriend, who says she was right there when he was arrested.

"I want people to know what happened to him."

Susan Perry of Schenectady says her 36-year-old boyfriend, Andrew Kearse, died in police custody after officers chased him through her home.

She says she was also arrested and was at the police station when Kearse was brought in.

Police confirm officers took Perry there.

"I saw them drag him out of the police car by his arms, he was lifeless, motionless, when i called his name multiple times, he didn't respond at all,” Perry said.

Perry claims she was there for 15 minutes before officers got an AED.

"He was out there for at least 20 minutes with no medical care because they believed he was faking."

Police say around 4:30 Thursday afternoon, an officer attempted to pull a car over for a traffic violation - they say it pulled into a driveway on Ward street - residents here tell us it was the one belonging to Perry, and they a pursuit on foot started through her house and out the back door.

Neighbors say they saw police run through the back yard after the man, to the spot where police say he was arrested behind another home.

"I really just heard a lot of squealing from the cars, doors shutting, yelling, a lot of commotion,” one neighbor said.

State police released a statement saying medical assistance was called for and given to Kearse, but he did not survive. They say the investigation is still ongoing.

Perry says Kearse likely ran inside because he was scared of the police - and he was in perfectly good health.

"That's a 36-year-old man with nine kids who is dead now over a traffic violation," Perry said.

Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford did release a statement saying, in part, “it is important that incidents be thoroughly and independently investigated before all of these questions and concerns can be answered and ultimate findings can be made."

State police did put out a statement a short time ago saying they're investigating the death of the 36-year-old, and that Schenectady police are cooperating fully.

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