Yale Professor's Death Was Drug-Related: Medical Examiner

Police said Samuel See, 34, of New Haven. was arrested on Saturday night. On Sunday, he was found unresponsive in his cell and later pronounced deceased

Monday, Jan 6, 2014  |  Updated 3:32 PM EDT
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Trauma Not Cause of Yale Professor's Sudden Death

Police are investigating the sudden death of an inmate who was being held in a New haven detention facility.

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The sudden death of a Yale professor who was being held in a cell at the Union Avenue Detention Facility in New Haven in November was drug-related, according to the medical examiner.

Samuel See, 34, of New Haven, was arrested on the night of Saturday Nov. 23. The next morning, he was found unresponsive in his cell and later pronounced deceased.

See died of acute methamphetamine and amphetamine intoxication with recent myocardial infarction, according to the medical examiner. His death was ruled an accident.

Police said See and officers fell during the arrest and See suffered a cut over his eye, but the preliminary autopsy report ruled out trauma as a cause of death. 

Police went to See's home after receiving a complaint of a domestic dispute at 5:15 p.m. on Nov. 23.

According to police, there was a demoestic dispute when See's husband, Saunder Ganglani, 32, of New Haven, went to See's home to retrieve his belongings despite a protective order that was in place.

Police said there were court orders prohibiting the men from contacting each other. 

When police mentioned to See that there was also a protective order for him to stay away from Ganglani, he “became enraged," police said.

He yelled that it was his house, said he shouldn't be arrested and fought with the officers when they tried handcuffing him.

As he was being brought to the cruiser, he yelled "I will kill you. … I will destroy you" to one of the officers, police said.

An ambulance transported See to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he was treated.

After being released, he was placed in police custody, taken to the detention facility at 9:10 p.m. and charged with violating a protective order, interfering with Police and threatening in the second degree.

According to police, state marshals said they routinely checked See, who was alone in his cell, throughout the night, spoke with him and made eye contact with him.  

At 6 a.m., on Sunday, November 24, marshals found See unresponsive, started CPR and called for medical assistance.  EMS arrived and pronounced See deceased at approximately 6:15 am.

Detectives from the New Haven Police Department have been investigating the death.

"Mr. Samuel See was delivered to the detention center on Nov. 23 at approximately 9:10 p.m. by New Haven Police and was alert and communicating with Judicial Marshals throughout  his detainment until Marshals assigned to the detention center found him non-responsive in his cell at approximately 6 a.m. on Nov. 24. Marshals  immediately provided CPR and other lifesaving efforts, until relieved by New Haven Fire and Rescue," Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, program manager of communications for the Connecticut Judicial Branch, said in an e-mailed statement. 

Police Chief Dean Esserman also ordered an Internal Investigation of the circumstances surrounding See's death.

“I am deeply saddened by the death of New Haven Resident and Yale Professor, Samuel See.  Most importantly, I offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences to Mr. Sees family and the Yale community, as they deal with the passing of their beloved son, husband and Professor," Esserman said.

"I also apologize for the Police Departments late reporting of the incident, this is not the standard that the New Haven Police Department holds itself to, and we will work to ensure that this does not happen again,” Esserman said.

See was an assistant professor of English and American Studies who was on leave this semester.

"The University community is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Samuel See. Our condolences go out to his family, faculty colleagues, and students, and his friends at Yale and elsewhere," a statement from Yale says.

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