A Mississippi man mysteriously died in police custody over the weekend after officers tied his hands and feet behind his back, according to witnesses – a type of restraint otherwise known as a “hogtie.”
Troy Goode, 30, and his wife left a concert Saturday night taking place one state over in Memphis, Tennessee.
Goode was admittedly intoxicated as he let his wife drive, but was acting “erratically,” at one point “running in a field in circles” and even “unexpectedly” exiting the vehicle, prompting another motorist to phone police.
“There was not any violent conduct,” the Goode’s attorney, Tim Edwards, told The Clarion-Ledger, “just erratic,” adding that “There was no one around him.”
Within moments of Southaven police arriving, Edwards says, they detained Goode, restraining him in a hogtie and onto a stretcher.
“His face was buried in the mattress of the stretcher,” Edwards told NBC News. “There was a strap over the back of his head so he couldn’t move his head. His hands and feet were hogtied so he couldn’t move those, either.”
The lawyer says a witness also heard Goode scream that he couldn’t breathe, reports WREG.
Nearby, lawyer David McLaughlin and his family dined at a restaurant from which he could see the incident unfolding in the parking lot.
Once they left the restaurant, McLaughlin’s son proceeded to film the event, producing one of the only videos publicly available at this point.
“Paramedics arrived on scene, and I see them put him in a four-point restraint or hogtie, I don’t know how else to describe it,” McLaughlin stated.
“His legs were crossed, pulled back, by my vantage point, his hands were pulled back, and I think affixed to at least one of his legs. He looked to me like he was struggling or convulsing or both. He appeared to be in distress to me.”
Goode, who suffered from asthma, later died at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in DeSoto, two hours after being placed in custody.
Police say they restrained Goode because he was attempting to run away from them.
“Officers attempted to detain the subject who began to resist and run from them again,” Southaven Lt. Mark Little said in a statement.
The police chief also says officers believed Goode may have been suffering from an LSD overdose.
“The officers on scene and ambulance personnel and hospital personnel felt like the information of the alleged overdose fit the protocol that they were seeing of his actions,” said Southaven Police Chief Tom Long.
The family’s lawyer says he isn’t blaming police just yet, but that the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death beg questioning.
“I don’t know the cause of death, and I’m not going to speculate on it nor am I going to point the finger at this point in time,” Edwards told the media. “We don’t know what happened in between the time the police took him off and the time the family was notified.”
Edwards says he’s completely baffled by the unfortunate turn of events.
“He was fully employed, quite bright, he was not a physical threat; he weighed 160 pounds. It’s just inconceivable as to why he goes from being a concert-goer to dead within a short period,” said Edwards. “This is a guy who was chemical engineer. He’s taken into police custody and he’s dead.”
A medical examiner will determine Goode’s cause of death. We’ll update this article with any new information accordingly.
A donation fund has been set up to help pay for the family’s funeral expenses.