ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The family of Gary Strobridge, an Elmira man who died while in police custody, has released a statement.
Gary E. Strobridge was taken from us at 49 years old. Gary was a great son who we loved unconditionally. His love of art and music was his past time. He died way too soon in an unforgiving way. Gary was a kind and loving soul. He was loved by more people than he will ever know. He tried to work hard every day to make ends meet. For all of you who loved him as much as we did, keep fighting for him. “Justice For Gary!” Don’t ever let them forget him. It was our son today, tomorrow it could be yours. People in the community need to call for change. When he needed help that night, he did not get it. What number do we need to call when people are in trouble without fear of getting hurt or even worse. You people will never know the hurt and heartache you have caused us by your actions. A special thanks to Kevin and Barb Smith, Angie, Penny and Erin Young who have all been great. To all neighbors on Horner Street, thank you! To the friends of Gary, thank you! To our family, thank you! With all of your support we can get through this. We miss him so much…
Love, till we meet you again, Mom and Dad.
To everyone, please keep fighting for “Justice For Gary!” No services will take place at this time. Gary’s tribute wall can be signed in obituaries at www.olthof.com.
Strobridge died on Aug. 23 at Upstate Medical Center after an incident with the Elmira Police Department on Horner Street the day before.
Investigators from the New York State Police and state Attorney General’s Office removed items from Strobridge’s home.
The New York State Attorney General’s Office took over the investigation into Strobridge’s death.
A memorial was formed on Horner Street one week after Strobridge was tased by police outside of his home.
Balloons, candles, and signs were set up along the sidewalk in memory of Strobridge.
Elmira Police tell 18 News that there are currently no Elmira Police Officers on administrative leave as a result of any incident or investigation.
Police say they were called to Strobridge’s home and found him on his roof. Strobridge came down from the roof “acting unusual” and began chasing a neighbor while shouting.
Officers attempted to take the Strobridge into custody under the Mental Hygiene Law, saying “he was clearly a danger to himself and/or others.”
Strobridge allegedly struck an officer in the face, leading to a struggle with law enforcement. An Elmira police officer used a Taser during the incident and Strobridge was taken into custody.
While receiving initial treatment at an unnamed hospital, police say the Strobridge was somewhat cooperative. At one point his “behavior suddenly changed and he physically attacked an Elmira police officer.”
During a second struggle with police, Strobridge suddenly became limp and unresponsive. He received medical treatment and was transported to Upstate Medical Center where he later died.