Chester man, 35, identified as man who died after York Co. deputies had him in custody

A Chester man has been identified as the person who died Monday at a hospital after he was taken into custody by York County deputies.

Derrick Johnson, 35, died at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, said York County Coroner Sabrina Gast.

Johnson’s death is being investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division, said Tommy Crosby, SLED spokesman.

“We have an ongoing investigation that remains open,” Crosby said Wednesday.

Johnson was taken into custody Monday by York County Sheriff’s Office deputies in the Newport Lakes neighborhood between York and Rock Hill.

Deputies had responded to multiple reports of a man jumping on cars, York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said.

Johnson was behaving erratically and refusing to comply with officers’ directions, Tolson said.

“While taking the person into custody, the individual became unresponsive,” Tolson said.

Tolson said deputies administered life-saving efforts until EMS arrived.

Tolson said that sheriff’s office policy dictates that SLED be notified and asked to investigate the handling of the incident.

The sheriff’s office had in-custody deaths in 2018 and 2017.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.