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Police investigate death at detox

St. James man dies early Monday morning after arrest for DUI

April 12, 2012
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

NEW ULM - A 41-year-old St. James man died early Monday morning at the Brown County Evaluation (detox) Center on North Front Street.

Following repeated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) attempts by detox personnel and later by New Ulm Police, Bradley J. Gertsema was pronounced dead sometime after 1 a.m. Monday at the detox facility.

St. James police were called regarding a disturbance at 4:45 p.m. Sunday by a person who didn't want a man (later identified as Brad Gertsema of St. James) at their home any longer on the 1000 block of 8th Avenue North, according to St. James Police Chief Mark Carvatt.

Police followed Gertsema to his home on the 800 block of 5th Street South and arrested him on probable cause for DUI soon after he exited his vehicle, Carvatt said.

Gertsema was transported to the Watonwan County Jail. He began the admission process before police determined he should be taken to detox, Carvatt added.

New Ulm Police were called to make a transport to detox at 11:47 p.m. Sunday, according to the Brown County Sheriff's Office daily calls for service summary.

At 12:57 a.m. Monday, New Ulm Police were dispatched to detox regarding an attempted suicide, according to the calls for service summary.

Immediately responding, police relieved detox personnel and continued CPR until they were advised to stop by New Ulm Ambulance Service personnel who were also called at 12:57 a.m. Monday.

New Ulm Police conducted a thorough death investigation. No foul play is suspected, and the case remains open according to New Ulm Police Commander Dave Borchert.

"We ordered an autopsy, and the Brown County coroner made a formal request for an autopsy," Borchert said. "Depending upon how busy other counties are, autopsies are usually done by Blue Earth, Ramsey or Hennepin counties."

Borchert said he expects autopsy results within a week or two. The Minnesota Department of Human Services will investigate to determine if health and safety policies were followed.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at



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