LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The sheriff’s department in Garland County is reporting the death of a man they had just arrested Tuesday morning.
In a statement from the Garland County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 23, a chain of events in the arrest of a man ended with the man’s death while in county custody.
The man was not named pending notification of next of kin, the department stated.
Deputies were called at 4:19 a.m. to an address just east of Hot Springs. When they arrived, they said they found a man acting strangely, including punching the asphalt. An abandoned vehicle was nearby.
The man told deputies he had driven the vehicle to where he was found punching the ground. He had gotten out of the vehicle because it was “full of snakes,” the statement continued. Deputies looked inside the vehicle but did not observe anything out of the ordinary.
The man then told deputies someone may have slipped something in his drink while he was at a friend’s house. An ambulance was called. When the ambulance arrived the man admitted he had, per the statement, “taken numerous narcotics, including Methamphetamine.”
Deputies reported medical personnel tried to get the man in the ambulance, and he refused. Deputies then tried to take the man into custody for DWI and public intoxication, but he ran. At that point deputies reported tasing the man, and, after a struggle, the man was taken into custody. After an inspection by the ambulance attendants, the man was cleared and taken to the detention center.
Shortly after the man arrived at the detention center, he fell unconscious. Detention center staff gave first aid and an ambulance was called. The man was taken to the hospital “and died a short time later,” per the statement.
The man was taken to the state crime lab to determine the cause of death. The department has requested Arkansas State Police undertake the death investigation, the statement concludes.