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Glenn Foster Jr. allegedly attacked inmate for socks before in-custody death, records show

"Shortly after assaulting another inmate" Foster then allegedly got into a fight with a deputy and correction officer trying to handcuff him

REFORM, Ala. — Court documents obtained by WWL-TV on Wednesday revealed new details regarding the events leading up to the death of former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Glenn Foster Jr. as he was in custody in an Alabama jail.

Authorities wrote that Foster allegedly attacked a sleeping inmate, David Wells, inside the Pickens County Jail while trying to steal Wells' socks.

"Wells was asleep and Foster stood over him attempting to steal his socks before repeatedly striking Wells to the chest, rib cage and abdomen area," the court document said. 

It adds that Wells had to be taken to a hospital for treatment for bone bruises and chest swelling due to the attack.

A second document says that "shortly after assaulting another inmate" Foster then allegedly got into a fight with a deputy and correction officer trying to handcuff him, causing the deputy to get a cut to his nose and left hand.

The allegations led the sheriff’s office to re-book Foster on three counts of assault and one count of third-degree robbery, jail records show.

The documents do not mention what happened to Foster or if he was injured during or after the alleged altercations. Foster's body was turned over to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences on Wednesday. 

Foster’s autopsy was pending, and no cause of death was immediately available, said the Pickens County Medical Examiner & Coroner’s Office. 

Foster, who was balancing a decade-old bipolar diagnosis, was arrested two days prior following a high-speed police chase that culminated in a crash and "minor tussle" with officers. Reform Police Chief Richard Black said he was concerned about Foster's erratic behavior and spoke at length with Foster's family to make arrangements to bail him out of jail and send him to a hospital in Birmingham for evaluation.

The police chief and family arrived at the jail Sunday and the hospital was prepared to admit Foster, Black said. But while they were waiting in the sallyport to get Foster, “something happened,” Black said.

“We went to bond him out and something happened at the jail and they wouldn’t let us get him,” Black said. “I really don’t know medically what was going on, but based on what I learned, it was not normal.” 

Glenn Foster Sr. shared additional details. He said he noticed an ambulance pull up, and he asked whether it was for his son. He was told the ambulance wasn’t for his son, but it was there because his son had fought with another detainee and two guards.

Jail records show that after the bail was paid on the traffic misdemeanors, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office re-booked Foster on three felony counts of assault and one of third-degree battery. The jail was holding him without bail on those additional charges when the situation worsened Monday.

Black said the involvement of his officers had ended by then, and he couldn’t comment further. 

According to Foster’s father, Black told him that the chief followed sheriff’s deputies as they drove him in a patrol cruiser – rather than an ambulance – to a hospital about a half-hour away from the jail, instead of the facility in Birmingham. 

Foster Sr. said he understands his son was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital. His death remains under investigation. 

"Once the investigation is complete, the findings will be turned over to the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s Office," a spokesperson for the Alabama Law enforcement Agency said. 

Foster’s family members said they fear officials delayed potentially life-saving care for him, despite knowing he had been in a series of fights and appeared to be experiencing a mental health episode. 

WWL-TV reporters Mike Perlstein, JD Carrere, and Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate reporter Ramon Vargas contributed to this report.