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Jose Muniz, 52
Bronx, New York
June 20, 2013

Agencies: New York Police Department NYPD

Last updated: 8 months ago

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A drug suspect apparently choked to death on a bag of cocaine during a struggle with Bronx cops, officials said Thursday.

Cops saw Jose Muniz, 52, who has a long rap sheet, involved in some sort of drug transaction at Jerome Ave. and E. 213th St., at 10 p.m. Wednesday, NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. It wasn't clear whether Muniz was buying or selling.

When cops approached, Muniz ducked into a bodega, Kelly said.

"We believe (Muniz) took a golf ball-sized packet of cocaine and put it into his mouth," Kelly said. "There was a struggle."

Police sources said cops pepper-sprayed Muniz and at some point he started choking and having difficulty breathing. The officers used chest compressions on him and the Emergency Medical Service responded to the scene.

An EMS crew pulled the bag of drugs from his throat while en route to North Central Bronx Hospital, but doctors were unable to save him. Muniz died at the hospital at 10:50 p.m.