A 55-year-old man died while handcuffed and in police custody on Wednesday night. Police sources tell the Daily News that the man, Richard Gonzalez, "was a longtime cocaine user who may have died of drug abuse." But his wife says police were too rough with him.

Hafiza Ali-Gonzalez called the police because Gonzalez had "taken drugs and grown agitated" in their apartment on East 137th Street in the Bronx. Ali-Gonzalez says she only wanted the police to take him to the hospital, but the situation escalated. According to the News:

As the officers interviewed Ali-Gonzalez in the hallway, her agitated husband aggressively tried to pull her inside. A brief struggle ensued, and cops cuffed Gonzalez who quickly began to exhibit signs of distress. Minutes later, an EMS crew took Gonzalez to Lincoln Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Ali-Gonzalez says the police "slammed him on the floor...They were trying to block me from seeing him. They were all on top of him. There was a lot of them. They killed him right there." She added, "He would never hurt me."

The police were familiar with Gonzalez: Ali-Gonzalez told the Times "that she had called the police six times since August because of his drug use and erratic behavior, but that he had never been violent toward her. He was arrested each time the police came, she said, and sometimes they treated him roughly, leaving him with a black eye or wrists bruised by handcuffs. She said he had had three heart attacks in the past eight months."

She is awaiting the Medical Examiner's autopsy; the police are also investigating the death.