The death of a man in the custody of the Brownsville Police Department is under investigation by the Texas Rangers, according to a report released last week by the Texas Attorney General’s office.
Tomas Guajardo, 37, died at a hospital on Oct. 3.
Earlier that day, officers arrived at 2257 Central Blvd. in response to a call from Guajardo indicating that his wife was in the room next door with another man and that the two had pointed a gun at him. He appeared to be intoxicated and officers booked 1.7 grams of crack/cocaine as evidence, according to the report.
A summary of events released with the document indicated that three responding officers arrived on scene at 7:14 p.m. to find Guajardo with a large object in his hand that appeared to be a piece of metal pipe. Guajardo dropped the object to the ground when an officer — with his handgun unholstered and pointed at the ground — prompted him to do so.
Officers ordered Guajardo multiple times to step out of his room so that they could speak to him, which he refused. He provided his name and appeared to be possibly intoxicated and rubbing his nose, the report indicated.
According to the summary, two officers knocked on the window of the room next door and began interviewing the male occupant, who was by himself and advised that he did not know Guajardo or own a firearm.
Officers, unable to get Guajardo to emerge from a concealed corner of the room and concerned that he still had access to the pipe, eventually utilized a conducted energy device (CED) on him, the summary stated.
A conducted energy device is commonly known as a stun gun.
The report indicated that Guajardo began hallucinating and partially concealed himself in the room’s restroom, yelling things such as “they are going to shoot me right here” and “he is coming”. Officers allegedly assured Guajardo that nobody was going to shoot him.
According to the document, Guajardo allegedly told officers that he had taken cocaine. Eventually, he emerged from the restroom remained in a state of paranoia while officers entered the room and attempted to restrain him.
The report indicated that an officer drive-stunned Guajardo with his CED following a prior warning in an attempt to get compliance. Guajardo then allowed officers to properly restrain him in handcuffs. He continued to struggle, prompting responding officers to place him in a belly chain and secure his legs and feet with shackles.
The document states that Guajardo was then restrained by EMS on a stretcher using a body velcro restraint and a spit hood. Two officers rode in the ambulance as Guajardo continued to resist and hallucinate. He was transported to Valley Baptist Medical Center while still “heavily hallucinating and conscious.”
The report indicated that Guajardo arrived alive at the hospital and was pronounced dead at 8:49 p.m. Authorities booked the officer’s CED as evidence, and Guajardo’s cause of death and autopsy report remain pending.
Both the Texas Rangers and the Brownsville Police Department were unable to provide comment at this time due to the ongoing investigation.