Adam McCabe, 33, of Barnhart is hospitalized and unresponsive this afternoon (Nov. 2), six days after police officers used pepper spray and a stun gun to subdue him after getting a call about a disturbance in De Soto, Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak said.
McCabe is “in a drug-induced, sedated state (and) on a ventilator,” Marshak said.
The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident to determine if De Soto Police officers used excessive force, and preliminary findings show they did not, Marshak said today.
A Sheriff’s Office deputy also was at the scene when McCabe was subdued, and the deputy used no force, according to the preliminary findings, Marshak said.
“While not conclusive, and with further examinations of evidence required, there does not appear to be any egregious or excessive force applied by any police officer at this time,” he said.
After McCabe was subdued on Saturday (Oct. 27), he was transported to an area hospital in critical condition, De Soto Police Chief Jeff McCreary said.
“It is our understanding that medical staff will attempt to bring him out of sedation for evaluation to determine the extent of his illness. It is unknown when that will occur,” Marshak said.
“The family has shared with the Sheriff’s Office that they are requesting privacy during this difficult time,” he said
At about 4:50 a.m. Saturday, De Soto Police were dispatched to an area near De Soto Road and Hwy. 110 in De Soto for a fight in progress, according to a report from De Soto Police.
De Soto officers and a deputy from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office responded, the report said.
“The officers found a male in the roadway undressing, yelling and screaming in and agitated manner,” the report said. “The officers at the scene kept their distance from the male and attempted to talk to him and calm him down. After several minutes, the male became more aggressive and charged at one of the De Soto officers who sprayed him with pepper spray. The male was then tased by another De Soto officer and taken into custody. The male continued to resist officers but was secured in handcuffs.”
Valle Ambulance was called to evaluate the man, but before the ambulance arrived, the man lost consciousness. He was then transported to the hospital, the report said.
Marshak said there may have been drugs involved.
“It was learned through the investigation that the subject was previously acting out with another person whom he was in a vehicle with. The subject (injected) an unknown quantity of liquid from a needle believed to be a powerful narcotic moments before acting out on the roadway and encountering law enforcement.”
Marshak said the Sheriff’s Office got some information early in the investigation suggesting excessive force may have been used, but investigators now believe that information was inaccurate.
He said he feels confident that police have good evidence to show that officers were not guilty of any criminal behavior.
However, Marshak said, the investigation is a long way from over.
Authorities are waiting for blood tests to come back on the patient, he said.
McCreary said he requested the investigation into the way De Soto Police officers handled the incident because it’s standard practice when someone is seriously injured or becomes seriously ill during the course of an arrest.
“We look at the totality of all the circumstances,” he said. “We want to establish that we followed procedures.”
McCreary said both officers involved in the incident are still on duty.
Marshak said “the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is only reviewing the incident for a criminal violation and is not responsible for the city of De Soto’s own internal investigation, which is standard in these situations.”
He said De Soto Police will review their own internal policies to make sure that protocol was followed.