Family of man who died in custody wants daytime paramedic at Saskatoon jail

By , on February 28, 2016

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SASKATOON—A relative of a man who died after being arrested in Saskatoon last week says he’d like to see a paramedic on duty in the police detention centre during days instead of just nights.

Michael Ryan, 38, was arrested Friday afternoon when police received reports of a man running into oncoming traffic.

Police say Ryan appeared intoxicated and was later found unresponsive in his holding cell.

His step-brother, Terance Grady, says he feels police are not properly trained to deal with new drugs such as fentanyl.

Paramedics have been funded by the Saskatoon Health Region to work night shifts in the detention centre, and intoxicated people may also be transferred to a stabilization unit rather than spend the night in a cell.

Police say their major crime unit along with the Office of the Chief Coroner are investigating the death and that Saskatchewan Justice has been notified.

“Somebody needs to be held accountable, because he was not in a good way. This shouldn’t have happened,” Grady told CKOM radio.

After his arrest, Ryan was charged with breach of court conditions and outstanding warrants.

Police say information about the cause of death will be released when an autopsy is done.

Ryan’s sister said her brother struggled with substance abuse and came to Saskatoon three weeks ago from Alberta to start over. He had attended rehab and the family was trying to get his life back on track, she said.