Crime

3 Manatee deputies placed on leave following mysterious death at Centerstone

Christopher Erdman
Christopher Erdman

MANATEE -- A man under the influence of drugs died early Wednesday after he was dropped off at Centerstone Florida, and the three deputies involved in his arrest have been placed on administrative leave, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

At 12:25 a.m., deputies responded to a disturbance at Centerstone Florida, Bradenton's mental health and addiction treatment facility at 2020 26th Ave. E., according to a news release.

Employees at Centerstone called the sheriff's office when Christopher Erdman showed up at the facility and began acting erratically, according to sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow.

"He even threatened to barricade himself in one of their offices," Bristow said. "When we got there, he was just screaming and yelling."

Deputies tried to secure Erdman but he resisted, so they used Tasers and eventually handcuffed him. They were preparing to transport Erdman when he appeared to have some medical issue and became unresponsive.

"The person that brought him there said he had been on something for a few days," Bristow added.

Erdman, who turned 39 Wednesday, had a history of drug abuse.

Emergency Medical Services arrived and took him to Manatee Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:38 a.m. The release did not list a possible cause of death, but said an autopsy will be performed. A toxicology blood test also may be needed to determine a cause of death.

The three deputies involved in the arrest have been placed on routine administrative

leave pending the investigation. The sheriff's office will not yet release the identity of the three deputies.

Mary Ruiz, CEO of Centerstone, said she could not comment on the incident due to patient privacy.

About a month ago, Erdman was arrested at Manatee Memorial Hospital on an out-of-state warrant for an intent to sell or manufacture marijuana conviction for which he had violated the conditions of his parole.

Court records show he had been released from a Georgia prison May 6, 2015, on parole. Conditions of his parole included that he not leave the state, live only at an approved residence, regularly check in with his parole officer, abide by a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., get a substance abuse evaluation and not consume any alcohol or drugs.

On Sept. 1, he was released from a Florida prison after serving three months for possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine convictions. He had already served more than two years and four months in the Manatee County jail during multiple periods of incarceration since an initial 2012 arrest.

Erdman's criminal history includes convictions of burglary of an occupied dwelling, two counts of armed burglary and two counts of grand theft auto with a firearm. He also had a conviction from Georgia for aggravated assault.

Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

Kate Irby, Herald online/political reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7055. You can follow her on Twitter @kateirby.

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