BETHLEHEM, Pa. - A Bucks County man hanged himself while in police custody in Bethlehem back in September, according to Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli.
Dale Bice, 40, died at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill on Sept. 11, several days after the incident at the Bethlehem police department, according to the Lehigh County coroner's office.
The incident happened on Sept. 8 around 3:15 a.m., the coroner said.
Bice, of West Rockhill Township, was in a police holding cell when it happened, Morganelli said. It's not clear why Bice was in police custody.
His death was ruled a suicide, the coroner said.
Multiple sources within the city tell 69 News a Bethlehem police officer was dismissed for his handling of the incident. Mayor Bob Donchez, Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio, and the city office of Human Resources declined to provide further detail citing human resources issues.
Morganelli said his office was notified of the suicide because it involved a person who died in police custody.
The investigation took multiple weeks, Morganelli said, but the DA's office determined there was no criminal action by police. In a letter from Morganelli to the Bethlehem Police Department, the district attorney said his office concluded while some lapses may have existed with respect to the observation of Bice while in police custody, "none of it arises to the level of criminal conduct."
The Lehigh County coroner's office found Dale Bice had alcohol and drugs in his system when he killed himself, the DA said in the letter.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.