Fayetteville man dies while in police custody

A 23-year-old Fayetteville man died Tuesday morning just hours after being arrested, police announced today.

Police said Phillip Jerriel Moore was stopped in his vehicle shortly before 10 p.m. Monday after he failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of West Avenue and Prairie Street.

An officer at the incident said he began searching Moore’s vehicle after he smelled marijuana coming from inside the black Nissan Versa. During the search, police said Moore ran from the scene headed north onto the railroad tracks at South University Avenue.

Officers said they eventually found Moore hiding in some bushes along the train tracks where he emerged and surrendered.

Once inside the patrol vehicle, Moore told an officer his legs weren’t working, so police called an ambulance to the scene. Moore then told the officer he was having trouble breathing.

Central Emergency Medical Service (CEMS) personnel evaluated Moore and then released him for transport to the Washington County Detention Center. During the trip to the detention center Moore stopped responding to the officers inside the transport vehicle, so another ambulance was called to the scene.

After receiving emergency treatment, Moore was taken to Washington Regional Medical Center, where he died the following morning.

The source of Moore’s medical emergency while in custody was undetermined, but it was not believed to be related to any use of force by police, according to Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor.

Tabor said he has asked the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an independent investigation into Moore’s death. Tabor also said his department would conduct its own separate internal investigation.

Moore’s body will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to determine a cause of death.