Police Custody Death of Yale Professor Still a Mystery

Police Custody Death of Yale Professor Still a Mystery

Police in New Haven, Conn. were called to a domestic dispute on November 23 at the home of a Yale professor, 34-year-old Samuel See, whose death in custody is now something of a mystery.

What the New Haven authorities do know is that trauma was not responsible for the death of See in police custody.  The popular Yale English professor apparently died mysteriously in jail mere hours after he was arrested.

Another mystery is why this fact was not disclosed to the public by the police for three days, despite the fact that normal procedure states that they should make the death announcement on the day it happens.

According to preliminary findings by the New Haven medical examiner, both trauma and suicide have been ruled out in the death of See.  Officials are still awaiting toxicology reports with which they hope to determine the cause of the man’s death whilst in police custody.

The story stems back to November 23, when police were called to See’s home after reports of a domestic dispute.  On arrival at the house, they found that See and his estranged husband, Sunder Ganglani, 32, were both in violation of protective orders registered against each other.

When police attempted to arrest See he struggled and resisted, and finally fell to the ground.  In the process his face was cut just above his left eye.  Paramedics treated his injury, and he was then taken to Yale-New Haven hospital for further treatment.

The hospital released him into police custody the same day at 9.10 p.m. and according to police he was dead by 6 a.m. the next morning.  The cause of death for the Yale professor is still a mystery.

According to State Marshals, they had routinely checked See, who was alone in the cell, during the night.  They stated that they spoke with See and made eye contact during the checks.

It was at 6 a.m. on Sunday, November 24, when delivering breakfast to the detainees, that police found See to be unresponsive.

Although See had sustained an injury to his face the day before his death, according to the medical examiner, trauma was not part of the cause of his death.  A representative from the office said that it is going to “take a couple months” to find out the cause of See’s death.  The spokesperson said that results are “pending further studies” as they have no definitive answer.

While See passed away on November 24, apparently the New Haven police did not announce his death until Wednesday, November 27, which police said was an “oversight.”

Police reported that the initial dispute between See and Ganglani started when the latter, now living in New York, traveled to See’s home to collect his belongings.  Apparently an argument ensued and See’s sister called the police.  However she was out of state at the time of the call and police are unsure how she knew about the fight.

See and Ganglani were apparently married in May, and were due in court on December 5 for a hearing on arrests for allegedly assaulting one another.  That court case did not go ahead due to the mystery death of the Yale professor while in police custody.

By Anne Sewell




Yale Daily News

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