Former NFL Player Glenn Foster Jr. Dies in Police Custody After Arrest Following High-Speed Chase

·3 min read
Glenn Foster
Glenn Foster

Illinois /Collegiate Images via Getty

Authorities in Alabama are investigating the death of former New Orleans Saints player Glenn Foster Jr., who died while in police custody two days after he was arrested for his alleged involvement in a car chase.

Foster, 31, had been arrested Friday on charges of reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, and attempting to elude police after a high speed chase with authorities. While being held in Pickens County Jail, he was reportedly involved in multiple fights and appeared to be suffering a mental health episode, 4WWL and the Times-Picayune report.

According to court documents, Foster allegedly attacked a sleeping inmate while trying to steal his socks.

"Foster stood over him attempting to steal his socks before repeatedly striking [the victim] to the chest, rib cage and abdomen area," the court document state, the Tuscaloosa Thread reports.

Foster then allegedly got into a fight with a deputy and the corrections officer trying to handcuff him, causing the deputy to sustain a cut on his nose and left hand, according to the documents.

He was re-booked on three counts of assault and one of third-degree battery after the previous bail was paid, according to online jail records obtained by PEOPLE.

The documents do not say what happened to Foster after he was re-booked or whether he was injured during or after the previous physical confrontation.

According to state authorities, his death was reported at a Northport medical facility, the Thread reports.

The autopsy for Foster, who battled bipolar disorder for over 10 years, is still pending, according to the Pickens County Medical Examiner & Coroner's Office.

Foster's father, Glenn Foster Sr. told the Times-Picayune, "We want justice for our son."

He added, "It's unfair. It's inhumane. It's just not right."

"I can't get my son back, but we want whoever is responsible to pay for this," his mother, Sabrina Foster, added.

Chief Richard Black, the head of the Reform Police Department, discussed the chase that preceded Foster's arrest, the Times-Picayune reports. He said his officers saw Foster driving up to 90 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone, which set in motion a chase on a state highway where speeds exceeded 100 mph. Foster, who was heading to Atlanta on business, crossed into a nearby city, Gordo, causing some of its officers to join in, Black explained to the paper.

The chase came to an end after police put a "spike strip" on the road, which flattened all four of Foster's tires.

Black said he was worried about Foster's behavior so he spoke with the athlete's parents about getting him out on bail and admitting him to a Birmingham hospital for evaluation. His father explained that Foster had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 20, but had been able to regulate it prior to the incident, the Times-Picayune reports.

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Foster's family arrived in Reform on Sunday and a judge approved a $500 cash bail under the condition that Foster would receive treatment at the hospital.

Foster's family and the hospital were ready for Foster's release from jail Sunday when "something happened," Black said, according to the paper.

"We went to bond him out and something happened at the jail and they wouldn't let us get him," Black explained, the paper reports. "I really don't know medically what was going on, but based on what I learned, it was not normal."

Foster, a University of Illinois alum, began playing professional football with the New Orleans Saints in 2013 as an undrafted free agent. He suffered an injury in 2014 before being cut ahead of the 2015 season.

Following the news of Foster's death, the New Orleans Saints tweeted, "We send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of former Saint Glenn Foster."

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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