A Franklin County man died Tuesday night while he was being taken into custody after trying to prevent the arrest of someone else, according to the Franklin County sheriff’s office.
“It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy, it goes against everything we’re about,” Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said. He added added that the deputies were also very upset over the death. “We’re here to help and save lives.”
Deputies were serving an arrest warrant at a house at 1249 Union Ridge Road in Franklin County, the sheriff’s office said on its Facebook page. The wanted person, Brandy Cooper, was inside the residence.
Roy Mitchell was sitting on the front porch of the house. He told deputies that Cooper was inside, but he refused to cooperate with the deputies and tried to prevent them from reaching Cooper, the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook. When deputies tried to take him into custody, Mitchell was “actively resisting.”
Deputies handcuffed Mitchell and sat him up, the post said. One deputy stayed with Mitchell, while another pursued Cooper who was hiding in the back of the house. After he was sitting, Mitchell began to have trouble breathing.
The deputies administered two inhalers to Mitchell, and his breathing improved momentarily, but then continue to decline, according to the sheriff’s office. Mitchell’s handcuffs were removed and deputies performed CPR until fire and emergency officials arrived, the Facebook post said.
The coroner’s office pronounced Mitchell dead at the scene.
Cooper, who had an active warrant in Wayne County, was arrested, Melton said.
According to court records, Cooper, 19, was wanted on nonpayment of fines after pleading guilty to misdemeanor shoplifting charges in 2017.
An autopsy for Mitchell’s death is scheduled for Wednesday. Melton said it’s unclear when the report will be available. Georgetown Police Department was asked to investigate.