...by 'ELEVEN officers'
An amateur rugby league player collapsed and died after being overpowered with pepper-spray as he was being arrested by up to eleven police officers.

Jacob Michael, 25, was sprayed in the face inside his home in the Widnes area of Cheshire, but managed to flee officers before being brought down on a verge 30 metres away.

He was taken to a police station where he became unwell and was rushed to hospital by ambulance. He was pronounced dead two hours later.

Police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission confirmed it had begun an investigation into Monday's incident. Tests are due to be carried out into how Michael died.

The dead man - who was known as Jake - had been with his family and is believed to have dialled 999 himself over a threat made to him when police arrived at the semi-detached home at 5pm.

Police said they were arresting him on suspicion of affray but there was a struggle and Michael was blasted in the face with the spray.

Despite him being temporarily blinded by the effects, Michael managed to run out of the house and got to a grass verge before being tackled and brought to the ground by other police officers who were waiting nearby.

Neighbour Ann Blease, 40, said: 'I didn't know Jake that well but he seemed like a good lad, he was pleasant and good with all the kids, very friendly and happy-go-lucky.

As far as I know he didn't have a job but lived with his parents and was just a really popular guy who knew a lot of people.'

The mother-of-three claimed: 'What the police did was outrageous. He was handcuffed, on the floor with his legs restrained and they didn't even have the decency to pull up his pants.

'They seemed to be kneeing him in the back of the head. I counted 11 cops. They were all sat on him, giving him a kicking and giving him side digs. There was one woman officer, the rest were men, and she was getting her kicks in as well.

'They were chasing him in the street. I saw it because they chased him in front of my house.

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