A man who walked into the city’s police department early Wednesday morning apparently to ask for help, died less than three hours later, after being arrested and locked in a holding cell, police said.

Christopher McHenry, 49, of Texas City, died in the Texas City Police Department’s jail early Thursday morning, the department said. The Texas Rangers have launched an investigation into the death at the police department’s request.

A Texas City Police Department spokesman referred questions about McHenry’s death to the Texas Rangers.

McHenry was found unresponsive in a “detox cell” about 3:30 a.m, according to a custodial death report the police department filed with the Texas Attorney General’s office.

Police called emergency medical services to the jail, and attempted to revive McHenry using CPR, according to the report. He was declared dead at 3:44 a.m., police said.

McHenry had walked into the Texas City Police Department headquarters, 1004 Ninth Ave. N, about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, according to the department.

He told officers at the front desk that “someone had been following him,” according to the report.

Police arrested McHenry on an outstanding warrant for possession of a controlled substance after checking his identity, according to the police department.

Officers put McHenry into the detox cell about 1:24 a.m., according to the death report.

The death report does not mention McHenry’s claim of being followed. It lists the “reason for contact” between him and police as a warrant for narcotics possession, according to the report.

McHenry appeared to be exhibiting mental health problems, according to the custodial death report. He did not make any suicidal statements, according to the report.

Police told the attorney general’s office they didn’t know whether McHenry was intoxicated or whether he exhibited any medical problems, according to the report.

McHenry’s was the first in-custody death reported in Texas City since 2013, according to the attorney general’s records.

His was the second in-custody death of a person being held by a Galveston County-area agency in less than a month.

On March 14, Ronald Cotton, 30, of La Marque, died while in custody at the Galveston County Jail. That death is also under investigation by the Texas Rangers. Authorities have not given a reason for Cotton’s death, beyond saying he was being treated for dehydration before he died.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


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