An Alleged High Speed Chase, Jailhouse Fight & Mental Health Crisis. Reports Emerge About Former Saints Player’s Final Moments Before Dying in Police Custody.

Syndication: Gainesville Sun
Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

It appears Glenn Foster Jr.’s decade old battle with bipolar disorder may have been at the center of a series of events this weekend that led to his sudden death on Monday while in police custody.

Foster, who was just 31-years-old was reportedly diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was in his early 20s according to family members and may have been having a mental health crisis in the days before he died.

It appears his family rallied to get him to a hospital and even a police chief and a Judge joined in and approved it but another event kept Foster behind bars until it was too late.

Foster was initially arrested on Saturday after allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase. Authorities say Foster was spotted speeding up to 90mph in a 45mph zone in Reform, Alabama but instead of surrendering to police he allegedly took off on a state highway reaching speeds of up to 100mph and crossing into neighboring Gordo. This reportedly prompted officers from two police forces from two towns to chase him down.

The local police chief says Foster even allegedly drove on the wrong side of the road, approaching oncoming cars head on and driving some cars off the road. Police say they put a spike strip across the road to flatten his tires. However, he ended up allegedly crashing into a business and getting into a minor struggle with officers before being arrested.

Foster was booked on counts of reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and attempting to elude police. Foster was reportedly having a mental health episode in jail, so much so that the Reform Police Chief arranged to have him released to his parents, on the condition that he would be taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation. His parents recognized that he needed help for his mental health issues right away.

However, when his parents went to get him on Sunday, something happened in the jail and Foster was not allowed to be released, despite the Judge and police chief approving it, according to a local news station covering the case.

It appears that allegedly there was some altercation between Foster and either guards and/or other detainees inside the jail according to local news reports. Foster’s father told a local news station that as he waited to take his son from jail to the hospital, an ambulance pulled up and he was told it was there because Foster had “fought with another detainee and two guards,” according to WWLTV.

Instead of being released and taken to the hospital, foster was allegedly re-booked on charges of assault and battery, possibly related to the alleged jailhouse fight. It is unclear who he fought with, whether he fought with anyone and if he did, who was at fault.

On Monday the situation reportedly worsened. Foster’s parents claim he needed medical assistance. It is unclear whether the medical assistance he needed was just for mental health issues or also for physical issues following the alleged jailhouse altercation that led to the additional charges being filed against him.

However, Foster reportedly did not receive the medical attention his family said he needed. On Monday something else happened and Foster was rushed to the hospital but it was too late. He reportedly died at the hospital. His father told WWLTV that the police chief told him Foster was taken to the hospital in a police cruiser instead of in an ambulance and was driven to a hospital a half-hour away from the jail instead of one closer to the facility. The father also told WWLTV that his son was pronounced dead by the time Foster Jr. arrived to the hospital.

It’s unclear what happened on Monday that led to Foster’s death and an investigation is underway. However, it is heartbreaking that he was allegedly allowed to be released on Sunday and instead was supposedly re-booked instead of allowed to go to the hospital for mental health assistance, as permitted by a Judge. If the events had been different, maybe Foster’s death could have been avoided. However, it is not entirely clear yet what caused his death.

“We want justice for our son,” Foster’s father, Glenn Foster Sr. told WWLTV. “It’s unfair. It’s inhumane. It’s just not right.”

His mother, Sabrina Foster, told the local news station, “I can’t get my son back, but we want whoever is responsible to pay for this.”

Foster joined the New Orleans Saints in 2013 after coming out of the University of Illinois but was cut from the team around 2015. He was a realtor and business owner following his NFL career.

Foster’s former teammate Terron Armstead wrote on Twitter: “I really can’t find the words to properly express. You’ll be missed bro.”