Eugene Police are investigating the case of a 34-year-old male, who was found critically injured after transport in the back of an EPD patrol vehicle.
Police were initially called at 5:20 a.m., January 30, to 2200 W. 6th Avenue for a fire at the location, with flames near Coastal Farm and Home Supply’s building. The fire was extinguished by Eugene Springfield Fire. During ESF’s response, Eugene Police were called as the suspect was reported on scene.
The suspect left the scene northbound on Hwy. 99 as police officers responded. He was contacted at 5:38 a.m. on the Hwy. 99 overpass. The subject was arrested for Reckless Burning without incident, but once detained in handcuffs, he began kicking. After he kicked at officers, his ankles were placed in a flexible restraint device (FRD) to prevent injuries to himself and officers. He was placed into the patrol vehicle for transport to a local hospital as officers had noted injuries that were present before police contact.
The suspect was not buckled into a seatbelt due to his combative nature, which is allowed by EPD policy, which reads, “Prisoners should be transported with a seat belt properly secured unless the safety of the custody, or officers may be compromised by securing the seat belt. Exceptions may include prisoners who are combative, spitting, hobbled, or unable to wear the seat belt as designed.”
During transport from Hwy. 99 to University District Hospital, for a routine evaluation for the injuries, the man was slowly moving around and rolling in the backseat. He was able to remove the FRD and he continued to roll and move at times. He was discovered non-responsive upon arrival at the hospital and was resuscitated. He is currently undergoing treatment.
The man’s identify is being withheld until his family is notified. This case is under investigation by Eugene Police Department Investigations Division.