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Omaha police investigate in-custody death

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Posted at 9:57 PM, Sep 09, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha police are investigating an in-custody death following a disturbance at a bowling alley. Officers were called to the West Lanes Bowling Center near 72nd and Dodge Thursday afternoon.

According to Omaha police, a 911 caller said an autistic adult male was out of control, biting his caregiver and being held down by staff.

When an officer arrived at the bowling alley around 1:45 p.m., the officer observed a bowling alley staff member restraining the man on the ground. Police identified him as 30-year-old Eric Liao.

Witnesses told the officer that Liao was being combative and biting people. After the officer handcuffed Liao, the officer observed he was unresponsive.

The officer performed CPR on him. When Omaha Fire Department medics arrived, Liao was taken to Methodist Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police say initial review of the officers’ body cameras showed the officers did not utilize force or attempt to hold Liao down.

Nebraska State Patrol and Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office are assisting Omaha Police with the investigation.

Under Nebraska law, a grand jury will review the case.