Preliminary autopsy results awaited for Bayonne man who died Tuesday

BAYONNE – Police Chief Ralph Scianni said on Thursday, June 12 that his department was hoping to see a preliminary statement today from the autopsy of Peter Lee Williams, 51, who died after police pepper sprayed his area following a fight among teenagers on the 400 block of Avenue C on Tuesday afternoon.
Williams collapsed in front of 403 Avenue C., after police officers attempted to break up the fight involving several teenagers, one of whom was his daughter, according to police and a witness.
After being dispatched to the scene at 3:59 p.m., an arriving officer was confronted with a melee in the vestibule of the apartment building. After shouting commands for the fight participants to disperse, which they ignored, the officer fired off two two-second bursts of pepper spray above their heads, according to Scianni.
That action resulted in many of the combatants clearing out onto the sidewalk, Scianni said. At that point, the female teenager fighting with Williams’ daughter allegedly attempted to attack Williams, and a police officer prevented that from happening, Scianni said.
At that time, the officer heard a loud thump behind him, and turned to see Williams collapsed on the ground, the officer’s report said.
A police sergeant began chest compressions on Williams, and a defibrillator was also used. The machine instructed to not shock the victim, because it sensed he had a pulse.
An Emergency Medical Services unit transported Williams to Bayonne Medical Center, where he was treated before being pronounced dead at 5:31 p.m.
On Wednesday afternoon, Abraham Mitchell Jr. of 400 Ave. C, who identified himself as the cousin of one the original two girls fighting on Tuesday, said that Williams had asthma, heart problems, and was on dialysis.
Scianni said that the cause of the fight, which began earlier in the day at another site, is still being investigated. He asked anyone with information to call the Detective Bureau at (201) 858-6925. –Joseph Passantino

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