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Police Used Pepper Spray, Struggled With Tiverton Man Before His Death

Portsmouth police released the following information Tuesday.

 say a struggle ensued and pepper spray was used during an incident Friday at the on Almeida Terrace. 

State Police are currently . Craig Raposa, 25, of 1 Mill St., Tiverton, was transported to Newport Hospital after this incident and later pronounced dead. 

The Portsmouth Fire Department received a 911 call Friday at 11:22 a.m. from Raposa, who requested the fire department check the welfare of his mother who lives at . 

Portsmouth Rescue arrived first and "found Mr. Raposa's mother to be fine, but determined that Mr. Raposa, who was on scene himself, seemed to be experiencing psychological difficulties," according to the press release issued by Portsmouth police.  

"Fire and police personnel then attempted to persuade Mr. Raposa to allow rescue personnel to transport him to the hospital for evaluation. 

"Initially, Mr. Raposa was cooperative and in agreement; however, as fire and police personnel were escorting Mr. Raposa to the rescue, Mr. Raposa suddenly became combative and attempted to flee the scene."  

According to the release, one police officer attempted to restrain Raposa and a struggle ensued. Raposa was then hit with pepper spray. 

"Due to Mr. Raposa’ s physical size and strength accompanied with him being combative, the police officer was forced to release an OC spray in an attempt to subdue Mr. Raposa while trying to handcuff  him, the results of the OC had no apparent affect and the struggle continued," according to release.

"At that time Portsmouth Rescue personnel, a  nearby civilian and Mr. Raposa’ s mother then attempted to assist the officer in gaining control of him. Mr. Raposa continued to violently resist their efforts. 

"Once two additional officers arrived on the scene, Mr. Raposa was successfully restrained. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Raposa became unresponsive and was transported to the Newport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead."

Portsmouth police immediately notified the Attorney General's Office and State Police, who responded and began an investigation. 

Portsmouth Patch will continue to follow this story as it develops. 

Should have been an English teacher February 10, 2012 at 09:25 PM
While I am attempting to comment on the content of the article and other commenters, I am finding it incredibly difficult to keep myself from correcting the spelling and grammar of fellow posters. Just a word to the wise – people take your opinion more seriously when it is properly articulated and executed.
gmerc February 10, 2012 at 10:46 PM
This is tragic. The investigation should shed more light. But with the young man unarmed and several police officers on the scene, it is shocking that a death was the result. Heart goes out to the mom and other family and loved ones.
Seagirl February 14, 2012 at 04:31 PM
A wonderful person gone way too soon. Rest in peace Craig. Prayers to the family.
Portsmouth Neighbor February 15, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Well articulated. I see poor grammar and spelling and and gloss right over the comment.
Charles Reeves February 15, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Police MUST be held to a higher standard. Mr Raposa was not being placed under arrest. Mr Raposa was within his rights as an American citizen to refuse medical treatment. That is UNLESS HE WAS DETERMINED TO BE A DANGER TO HIMSELF OR OTHERS. Had he been that danger, guaranteed you would have heard about it. Portsmouth Police Officers Commited Homicide.

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