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Hagerstown man dies in police custody on Md. Eastern Shore

July 26, 2008

The sister of Raymond H. Bartles, a Hagerstown man who died Wednesday while in police custody on the Eastern Shore, last contacted his family last week to say he was heading for a job in that area.

"He had stayed here about two weeks ago," Faith Bryan said. "When he called on Saturday, he seemed OK."

Bartles, 43, died at Easton (Md.) Memorial Hospital.

"I'm thinking it was heat-related," Bryan said about her younger brother's death. "The doctor said he was dehydrated and he had no water with him."

According to an Associated Press story, Bartles went limp after he was handcuffed by Maryland State Police after a series of incidents where he reportedly had been seen wandering in and out of traffic and acting strangely.

An autopsy has been ordered, according to the Associated Press story.

A spokesman at the Centreville barrack of the Maryland State Police said he had no information about the incident.

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Bryan said her brother had been hospitalized for nine days in Florida four months ago because of a heart attack.

She said her brother often worked at carnivals, car shows and NASCAR events.

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