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Struggle during arrest ends in man's death

Police say the 31-year-old was combative and went limp when they tried to handcuff him.

By AMY WIMMER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 9, 2003

CLEARWATER -- Police were trying to arrest a 31-year-old man near his home Saturday morning when he collapsed. Peter Gregory Nadir was pronounced dead minutes later at Mease Countryside Hospital.

Clearwater police are investigating, and the department's Office of Professional Standards will review the incident to determine whether policies were followed, said department spokesman Wayne Shelor.

Police were called to the Nadirs' neighborhood at 7:32 a.m. Saturday after a neighbor called to report that Nadir was chasing his mother, who must use a wheelchair, down the street. The caller told police dispatchers that the mother, Barbara Nadir, asked neighbors to call police for help, Shelor said.

When police arrived, they found Peter Nadir, who lived at 2823 Rampart Circle, about a block from his home.

Shelor said police talked to his mother and determined they had probable cause to arrest her 300-pound son, but when they approached him, he "became immediately combative."

More officers arrived, and Peter Nadir was taken to the ground, Shelor said. Officers were able to handcuff him, but had to cuff him in front of his body because of his size.

"It's at this point that the man went limp," Shelor said.

Paramedics treated Peter Nadir at the scene before he was transported to the hospital. At least two officers also were treated for minor injuries from the scuffle, Shelor said.

"This is a fluid investigation," Shelor said. "We're still gathering information, but this is the extent of the information available right now. Additional information will be made public as circumstances warrant."

Neighbors in the Countryside neighborhood where the Nadirs lived said they felt sorry for Peter Nadir because he had few friends and seemed lonely.

"It was no life for him," said neighbor Chris Pawlowicz. "It's a sad situation all around."

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