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State police investigate death of former NFL player after he was taken into custody

<i>Wilfredo Lee/AP</i><br/>Former NFL player Glenn Foster Jr.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Former NFL player Glenn Foster Jr.

By Kay Jones and Travis Caldwell, CNN

Alabama state authorities are investigating the death of former New Orleans Saints player Glenn Foster, Jr., two days after he was taken into police custody.

The 31-year-old died Monday at a medical facility north of Tuscaloosa in western Alabama, according to a statement from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

He was arrested on Saturday after officers spotted him driving up to 90 mph in a 45-mph zone, Chief Richard Black of the Reform Police Department told Reform is a town in Pickens County.

A high-speed chase between Foster and police ensued, with a spike strip being used to slow Foster’s car before officers arrested him, Black told

Foster was headed to Atlanta for a business trip, his father, Glenn Foster Sr. told The Washington Post.

Jail records from Pickens County show that Foster was booked Saturday on three counts of reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and attempt to elude.

Foster’s family was informed of his arrest Saturday and they told Black about his mental health struggles, Foster Sr. told the Post. Foster experienced a manic episode in college and had another one recently, Foster Sr. said, according to the Post.

The police chief told he contacted Foster’s family because of his concern about the former player’s erratic behavior and made an arrangement for them to bail him out of prison and have him sent to a local hospital for evaluation.

The police chief and Foster’s family went to the jail Sunday, but when they arrived they were told Foster had been involved in an “altercation” with another inmate and was placed under the jurisdiction of the sheriff’s office, the Post reported.

He was released at 3:14 p.m. on Sunday and re-booked two minutes later, jail records show, on three counts of simple assault and one count of third-degree robbery.

The family was told they couldn’t visit Foster due to Covid-19 restrictions, according to the Post.

Arrangements were made for Foster to be taken to another facility Monday, Foster Sr. said, and the sheriff’s office, which was in charge of transporting Foster, told the family he got into the cruiser without incident.

But when he arrived at the medical facility, Foster was unresponsive and couldn’t be revived, the Post reported.

“He arrived to his death,” Foster Sr. told the newspaper. “I don’t know what happened with him physically while he was in the jail because they wouldn’t let us see him.”

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

Cause of death not released

Authorities say no cause of death has been determined.

The Pickens County Coroner declined to disclose the cause of death when asked by CNN Wednesday.

“We are referring all questions and comments to [the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency,]” coroner Chad Harless told CNN when reached by phone.

ALEA is the lead investigator in Foster’s death, Harless said.

According to a news release from ALEA Tuesday, Foster died Monday, December 6, at a medical facility in Northport. His body has been released to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for further investigation, according to ALEA.

ALEA Trooper Senior Reginal King told CNN by phone “there is still no cause of death.”

The statement said, “nothing further is available as the investigation is ongoing. Once complete, the findings will be turned over to the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s Office.”

Foster played as a defensive lineman for the Saints in 2013 and for part of the 2014 season, according to

This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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