Virginia Deputies Under Investigation In Connection With 77-Year-Old's Death

Authorities are investigating whether police properly handled a situation after a Virginia man died from his injuries sustained during an arrest last month. 

Ralph Ennis

Ralph Ennis

Photo Credit: Virginia State Police (Facebook)

Virginia State Police are investigating the death of 77-year-old Ralph Ennis, of Gainesville, and the response of deputies from the Warren County Sheriff's Office, WTOP reports

Ennis was arrested in Front Royal after officers chased him down for speeding, driving erratically and refusing to stop on Saturday, April 2, according to Warren County Sheriff's Office. 

Ennis also refused to comply with officers during arrest, which resulted in deputies grabbing Ennis by his arms from behind, the office reports. 

While trying to restrain him, two deputies and Ennis "fell over the protruding trailer hitch of his pickup truck," the office said. At the time, Ennis sustained non-life-threatening injuries. 

However, when he was brought to Warren Memorial Hospital for treatment, doctors said Ennis was showing signs of a hemorrhage to the head. Ennis died on April 15 and his official cause of death has yet to be released, the office said. 

A Silver Alert was also issued for Ennis and later cancelled after he was reported missing from Pennsylvania and found in Virginia on March 11. 

Ennis showed signs of dementia and Alzheimer's and during that encounter and exhibited similar behavior during his arrest in Front Point a month later. 

The office said they are cooperating with the investigation. A special board of inquiry will review the use of force related to Ennis' arrest, WTOP reports. 

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