TBI investigating after man hospitalized, given CPR by Memphis police

TBI investigating after man hospitalized, given CPR by Memphis police

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An investigation is underway by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at the request of the Memphis Police Department.

MPD made the request after CPR was performed on a man they had detained.

That man, 35-year-old Carlos Rutiaga, is now in the hospital unit of the jail. His mother and neighbors called police after he started making threats to neighbors and family members.

"He said somebody is going to get killed tonight and that's what he said, and he just left,” said a neighbor on North Graham, who did not want to be identified.

The neighbor said Rutiaga, who lives a couple of houses down, had a knife and was acting irrationally Saturday night.

"It was pretty scary,” the neighbor said.

A neighbor and his mother called police after Rutiaga started talking to himself and walking back and forth in the rain.

“I think he had been taking some drugs or something because it wasn’t him in the morning when I got up,” said his mother Mary Rutiaga. “He wanted to fight with the neighbors.”

When police arrived, they talked with Rutiaga, who moved from Texas to Memphis and was living with his mother.

Officers offered to take him to the bus station because he said he wanted to leave. His mother told officers he might have a knife, and officers tried to pat Rutiaga down.

“He was resisting arrest,” Mary said. “I think he bit a policeman.”

When officers finally got him in the squad car they realized he was having trouble breathing so they took him out.

"They took him out and gave him CPR,” Mary said.

Rutiaga’s mother said police called for backup and the street was blocked off. Investigators said officers thought Rutiaga might die, so they contacted the TBI because they feared they might end up with a dead man in police custody.

“His blood pressure went all the way down,” Mary said.

Rutiaga was taken to Regional One in extremely critical condition. He was upgraded to critical condition and is now in a jail medical ward.

His mother and neighbors are grateful for the professional way officers handled the potentially dangerous situation.

“They handled it very good,” Mary said. “They called other units the ambulance came.”

Investigators said even though Rutiaga did not die, since the TBI was called to investigate, the agency is still investigating.

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