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Man dies in hospital following arrest in Overland; investigation launched

The man is identified as 39-year-old Willie Sample of St. Ann.
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Police car on the street at night

OVERLAND, Mo. — An investigation is underway after a man died in the hospital on Friday after he experienced a medical emergency following his arrest.

The man is identified as 39-year-old Willie Sample of St. Ann.

The St. Louis County Police Department said in a release that at around 5 p.m. Tuesday, Overland police responded to a call for a suspicious person trespassing in backyards at Midland Boulevard and Tennyson Avenue in Overland.  

Police said an officer tried to contact Sample, but he ran away. Sample then tried to assault the officer, police said, and a brief struggle ensued until he ran away again, trying to assault the officer once more before jumping into the backseat of a random car that was sitting in traffic. 

The officer used a Taser on Sample and then took him into custody. The officers were treated for scrapes and bruises received during the arrest. The driver of the car was unharmed.

EMS was called to the Overland Police Station to treat the Sample after the use of the Taser and to give him a mental health evaluation. Sample didn't cooperate and there was another struggle, police said. That's when Sample had a medical emergency and was taken to an area hospital. 

He died on Friday.

Police said an autopsy was performed, but the cause of death is still undetermined and there were no signs of serious trauma or injury.

The investigation remains active and police are asking anyone who might have information to contact the St. Louis County Police Department at 636-529-8210.

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