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Man who died in Cheektowaga police cell was father of two

Authorities have identified a 28-year-old father of two as the man who died in a Cheektowaga Police holding cell on Dec. 19, hours after a routine drug arrest near the Walden Galleria Mall.

The arrest report for Jared R. Beaver was released by Cheektowaga Police in response to a Freedom of Information request that The Buffalo News filed.

Beaver was arrested on drug charges shortly after 9 p.m. Dec. 18 after police stopped a sport utility vehicle driven by another man on Walden Galleria Drive, according to the arrest report.

After his arrest, Beaver was taken to a Cheektowaga police holding cell. During a routine check at 1 a.m. Dec. 19, officers discovered Beaver slumped over, unresponsive and bleeding from his nose and mouth, said James Speyer, assistant chief for the Cheektowaga Police. He died that morning.

During an autopsy by the Erie County Medical Examiner's office, examiners found a small amount of suspected cocaine on Beaver. Speyer declined to comment on how the suspected cocaine was found, except to note that Cheektowaga Police do not do strip searches of people they arrest.

Beaver listed an address on Peter Street in Buffalo, in a neighborhood near Grant and Amherst streets, according to the police report.

In a death notice sent to The Buffalo News by Beaver's family last week, he was identified as a member of the Seneca Nation who is survived by two children, his parents, a grandmother and six siblings.

Beaver was "cooperative and never struggled" with police at any time after his arrest,  Speyer said.

Speyer said his department is cooperating fully with an investigation into the death, which is being conducted by the State Commission of Corrections.

"They are investigating this death, as they would investigate any death in a police lockup," Speyer said. "We notified them immediately after it happened, and a member of our department has already spoken with them."

No one -- including family members or any attorneys associated with the family -- has filed a complaint in connection with the death, Speyer said.

The News tried without success to contact friends and family members of Beaver, and a Seneca Nation member later contacted a reporter to say the family did not wish to comment at this time.

Police officers said they pulled over the vehicle after noticing its lights were not on. While questioning the driver, officers noticed the odor of burning pot and spotted "loose pieces of marijuana" on Beaver's shirt, the report stated.

Beaver, a back seat passenger, was charged with criminal possession of 39 oxycodone painkiller pills, which were found in his right sock, and possession of more than 25 grams of marijuana, found inside the rear section of his pants, police reported.

Beaver also was charged with false personation after he initially identified himself by another family member's name and gave a false date of birth.

An officer warned Beaver of the possible consequences of using a fake name, but he insisted on using the other identity he had given, according to the police report. The report stated that officers later determined his correct ID by checking identification that he was carrying.

The driver and another adult passenger were not charged.

Two children also were in the vehicle, Speyer said, and according to the police report, one of the children was not secured properly in a child seat.

No information about Beaver's death was included in the arrest report, but Speyer told The News last week that Beaver was calm and cooperative during the booking process. He was assigned to a holding cell at 10:30 p.m., about 90 minutes after the traffic stop.

Cheektowaga Police would have released Beaver's name and the arrest report sooner, Speyer said, but family members implored the department not to release the name until after a funeral service was held on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation on Thursday.

The delay in releasing the information resulted from concern for the family's wishes, and was not an attempt to hide information, Speyer said. Robert Freeman, director of the state's Committee on Open Government, had said last week that the department, under state freedom of information laws, should release the information.

He added that the determination of cause of death will be made after authorities get the results of toxicology tests, looking for the presence of drugs in Beaver's body.

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