A woman told News4 she witnessed a violent beating which may have lead to a man's death at the Prince George's County Detention Center last week.
The incident unfolded when Metro Transit Police said Samuel Shields got into a dispute over a $2 bus fare at the Addison Road Metro station. Officers on scene pepper sprayed him and took him into custody at Prince George's County Detention Center in Upper Marlboro.
A jail spokeswoman told News4 Shields was disruptive and was separated from the other inmates.
"They just keep saying he was talking loud, wouldn't put on the uniform, and I don't know what happened after that," Shields' wife Regina explained.
Authorities said Shields became medically distressed and was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
A woman who claims she was at the jail that day told News4 she witnessed Shields refusing to put on his orange jumpsuit and acting as though he had some "mental issues." She said six officers approached and handcuffed Shields, and that's when the incident took a violent turn.
“We can see them kicking, applying force with their fists with a club, we could see them just hitting him, and at that time he was screaming bloody murder," the witness told News4. “It went from the officers showing so much, I guess, machoness [sic], like they had all the control to then pure panic.”
She said Shields’ body was hunched over and appeared lifeless.
“The main correctional officer that was beating him the worst, was actually the one that was doing the CPR, was talking to the victim saying, 'Come on, breathe for me.'
“Honestly I feel like I should have [come] forward sooner, but I just never thought that they wouldn’t actually tell the story as it was,” she said.
Shields suffered from congestive heart failure, sleep apnea and mental illness, according to his wife, but she doesn't believe he died as a result of those issues.
"I think it was foul play. I really do, in my heart," Regina Shields said.