Yale Daily News – by ISAAC STANLEY-BECKER
Samuel See, assistant professor of English at Yale, was found dead on Sunday in a New Haven jail, according to spokespeople for the State Judicial Branch and the New Haven Police Department.
See was found dead at police headquarters at 1 Union Avenue, the detention facility where he was placed after being treated for injuries related to a domestic dispute over the weekend. See is on leave this semester from the English department, where he focuses on British and American modernist literature.
According to a Wednesday press release from NHPD Spokesperson David Hartman, See’s cause of death remains under investigation.
Hartman said See was put in policy custody after he was treated for a minor injury at Yale-New Haven Hospital resulting from a confrontation with his partner on Saturday afternoon. Although See and his partner had mutual protective orders against each other, See’s partner had returned to their home Saturday to retrieve some belongings, leading to the confrontation. Police arrived after See’s sister called in the domestic dispute.
When officers informed See that his partner also had a protective order against him, See “became enraged,” Hartman said.
“He yelled that it was his house and that he shouldn’t be arrested. See fought with Officers when they tried handcuffing him,” Hartman said. “As See was led to a Police car, he yelled to one of the arresting Officers, ‘I will kill you … I will destroy you.’”
See was charged with violating a protective order, interfering with Police and threatening in the second degree.
State Judicial Department Spokesperson Rhonda Stearley-Hebert said in a statement that See was delivered to the detention center on Saturday at 9:10 p.m. by New Haven Police, at which time he was alert and communicating with Judicial Marshals.
She said Marshals then found him non-responsive in his cell at approximately 6 a.m. on Sunday morning.
“Marshals immediately provided CPR and other lifesaving efforts, until relieved by New Haven Fire and Rescue,” Stearley-Hebert said. She added that an internal review is being conducted to make sure policies and procedures were followed.
The New Haven Independent reported that “See is not believed to have committed suicide” without further explanation.
English department chair Langdon Hammer ’80 GRD ’89 called See’s death “a terrible loss.”
“He was a committed teacher and an innovative scholar with a sparkling intelligence and an open, generous heart,” Hammer said. “He deeply touched all of us who worked with him here at Yale.”
New Haven Police Department Chief Dean Esserman told the Independent that he has also ordered an inquiry into the incident.