A Connecticut man died following a physical confrontation with two Massachusetts state troopers and state highway workers that began when the man was seen walking on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Brighton Wednesday night, authorities said.
In a statement Thursday, State Police identified the man as Donald T. Moskites, 47, of Windsor, Conn.
Moskites’s death is under investigation by State Police and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office.
State Police said the incident began about 10:10 p.m. when a trooper saw Moskites walking on the ramp near Exit 19 on the eastbound side of the Pike in Brighton. The trooper “directed Mr. Moskites to come down off of the ramp,’’ State Police said.
The Connecticut man walked down the ramp and into the turnpike’s maintenance yard, where troopers questioned him to see if he needed assistance.
“Mr. Moskites, who is described as a very large man, became violent and physically assaulted the troopers, biting one of them in the forearm,’’ State Police said in the statement. Conley’s office said that when Moskites bit the trooper, he removed “a large chunk of flesh from his arm.’’
Moskites, the two troopers, and Massachusetts Department of Transportation workers engaged in an intense physical struggle during which a trooper dosed Moskites with pepper spray, State Police said.
During the struggle, Moskites’s heart stopped beating.
“At some point during this violent struggle, Mr. Moskites went into apparent cardiac arrest,’’ State Police said.
Troopers began performing CPR and Boston Emergency Medical Services crews took him to St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, where he was pronounced dead, State Police said.
Moskites’s relatives were notified of his death by Connecticut State Police. Police in Windsor, Conn., “have had multiple interactions with Mr. Moskites,’’ State Police said.
State Police are trying to determine why Moskites was in Boston.
The names of the troopers are currently being withheld, State Police said.
The two troopers were taken to the same hospital, where they were both treated and released, State Police said.John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on