Official: Man detained by police was breathing, kicking

AP News
Posted: Jul 22, 2015 3:05 PM

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — A Tennessee man who died after witnesses say was he hog-tied face-down on a stretcher was at the hospital for an hour and a half before his death and was "breathing fine" and "kicking and screaming" during that time, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

District Attorney John Champion said the case remains open pending final autopsy and toxicology results, but that he doesn't have reason to believe officers did anything criminally wrong when detaining Troy Goode.

"This is a tragic situation," Champion said. "You have got to look — as I am — at both sides of it from the actions of the police officers and the actions of Mr. Goode."

The preliminary autopsy suggests the 30-year-old died of possible lung or heart problems, Champion said.

The Goode family's attorney has suggested he died of "positional asphyxiation" from being placed face down on the gurney with his hands and legs in restraints behind his back Saturday after he was detained on the way to a concert.

But Champion — who's been in contact with police and emergency personnel since he took over the case — said that Goode was at the hospital for 90 minutes before dying and that he was "kicking and screaming" and "breathing fine."

Goode was belligerent and had to be moved to another area of the hospital emergency room for treatment, Champion said.

Champion added that he will know more when the toxicity report is in. That will show whether Goode's condition was exacerbated by the use of drugs, Champion said, and he hopes for a final report within two months.

Authorities said a 911 call brought police officers to Goodman Road around 7:45 p.m. Saturday, where they found Goode running down the street after he left his vehicle while riding with his wife, Kelli, and others to a Widespread Panic concert in Southaven.

Tim Edwards, the Goode's family attorney, said Tuesday that Goode had taken a small amount of LSD. He said other "participants" using the drug did not experience any trouble.

Edwards said he has hired a forensic pathologist to complete an independent toxicology report. He did not name the pathologist.

Edwards said Goode was 6-foot-1, 145 pounds and a "rail thin," intelligent man who worked as an engineer for nexAir, a distributor of atmospheric gases and welding supplies based in Memphis.

"He was not a criminal," Edwards said. "He was a highly compensated individual who made a mistake, and now he's dead because of it."