Fix, Ala. Alabama authorities are investigating the death in custody of former NFL player Glenn Foster Jr. after a high-speed chase that led to his arrest and then a brawl between officers at the county jail where he was being held.
The 31-year-old former New Orleans Saints player died Monday at a medical facility in Northport, Alabama, Alabama President Trooper Regional King reported to the Tuscaloosa News.
While his hands were tied, Foster fought against a Pickens County deputy and a correctional officer, injuring his nose and hand, according to court records obtained by The Associated Press.
The judge wrote that Foster appeared in court for the first time before Pickens County Judge Samuel Jenkin, as he was “non-compliant and refused to answer any questions” regardless of an attorney’s claim.
Based on police observations and how Foster acted, the judge said Foster “was not mentally stable and posed a danger to himself and others” and ordered his detention without bail for a mental evaluation.
But what happened from that time until his death was a mystery. Few other details have been released.
Foster’s relatives said they fear officials will delay his life-saving care, even though they know he has been in a prison fight and may be suffering from a mental health crisis, they told The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. “I can’t get my son back, but we want anyone responsible to pay for it,” his mother, Sabrina Foster, told the news organization.
Foster’s father, Glenn Foster, told news outlets Foster was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 20, but that he was often able to manage the illness before the arrest. His father said the arrest happened while his son was driving to Atlanta on a business trip.
Prison records show Foster was arrested Sunday afternoon in the small town of Reform, Alabama, on charges of reckless endangerment and resisting arrest through “attempted evasion.”
Foster was driving at up to 90 miles per hour and drove the officers in pursuit along a state highway across to the nearby town of Gordo, whose officers joined the chase, Correctional Police Chief Richard Black told the New Orleans news site. Black said officers used “spike tape” to flatten all four of his tires and slow the car, but he hit a business.
Black said he engaged in what Black described as a “minor little conflict” with the officers, but that no one appeared to be hurt. He was then handcuffed and taken to Pickens County Jail.
Prison records showed that he was booked into prison on charges of reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, and attempting to evade police.
Alabama’s law enforcement agency said in a statement it was investigating at the request of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. The cause of death was not revealed and Foster’s body was handed over to the forensic department.
Foster lives originally from Chicago, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He played two seasons with the Saints with a defensive end, and appeared in 17 games in 2013 and 2014.
Court records do not include the name of any attorney who may have represented Foster.