HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—The county's Medical Examiner has not finished its autopsy of 28-year-old Edison resident Daniel Nagahama, who passed away on June 2 after an altercation with borough police.
Nagahama was hospitalized and died, "hours after he struggled with police who revived him when they found him laying on a street in Highland Park," according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).
The MCPO claims that Nagahama was found near the corner of Benner Avenue and South Fifth Street, less than one block from the borough's police headquarters.
According to emergency radio transmissions, the Highland Park First Aid Squad was dispatched to respond to a "pedestrian struck" with "unknown injuries" at about 5:13pm.
According to a press release, the HPPD "stopped to assist the man" at about 5:15pm on South Fifth Avenue. The MCPO made no mention of a motor vehicle crash, or a pedestrian struck.
"As police attempted to revive him, Nagahama became belligerent and struggled with police," reads the MCPO press statement. "He was not placed under arrest, but was taken to the hospital by rescue workers."
New Brunswick Today obtained the MCPO release despite an ongoing media blackout that has resulted in all of our reporters being removed from the list of email addresses that receive official MCPO statements.
In response to a request under the state's Open Public Records Act, Middlesex County's government declined to provide the autopsy report, saying it does not exist.
Nearly two weeks after his death, authorities have claimed that "no [autopsy report ] exists, as the Medical Examiner’s investigation is ongoing."
According to the release, Nagahama was pronounced dead at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at 8:28 pm on June 2.
The death was reported to the office of NJ Attorney General Robert Lougy, "in accordance with use-of-force guidelines," according to the MCPO statement.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.