MALDEN, MA – OCTOBER 17, 2018: Laura Barkosky holds a picture of her son Roger Sheets during a vigil held in his honor outside of the Malden Police Headquarters on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 in Malden, Massachusetts. (Staff photo By Nicolaus Czarnecki)

An attorney representing the mother of a 37-year-old Malden man who was placed in police custody and later died earlier this month says the family will sue the Malden police for wrongful death. 

“The mother denies the sequence of events,” attorney Charles Kelley told the Herald. “At this point, yes —  from the information I gathered, I believe a lawsuit will be filed.” 

The case involves Roger Sheets, who was reportedly under the influence of a drug and acting aggressively and allegedly assaulted a security guard at the Quarry Lane apartment complex on Oct. 6, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. 

Malden police arrived at the apartment building at 8:45 p.m. where they allegedly met a female visitor, said to be his mother, who told them that Sheets “was out of control,” the DA’s statement read. Police asked Sheets to leave the apartment, after which he began breaking a door and window inside the apartment. 

To subdue the man, Malden police used a pepper spray, but the man continued to fight officers and was ultimately placed in handcuffs, according to the preliminary investigation. 

Sheets subsequently reported he was having trouble breathing and emergency medical services responded and transported him to Melrose Wakefield Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at approximately 10 p.m, the DA’s office said. 

Kelley, however, says Sheets’ mother denies the DA’s description of events. 

“She says she didn’t make a phone call. She didn’t say her son was acting crazy,” Kelley said. 

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is investigating to determine the cause and manner of death. The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office is currently investigating the incident.