Man dies while in Farmington police custody

San Juan County Sheriff's Office takes over investigation

The Daily Times staff

FARMINGTON — The San Juan County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a man taken into protective custody by Farmington police officers.

Officers for the Farmington Police Department were dispatched around 11:04 p.m. Wednesday to the 1900 block of Carlton Avenue in regard to a male subject running up and down the street without any clothes on, according to a Farmington police Facebook post.

The man was reportedly yelling and banging his head on the ground.

The 41-year-old man became violent when officers arrived on the scene and approached him, according to Detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln of the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.

The man was placed in protective custody as he continued to struggle with officers. While in protective custody, the man stopped breathing, according to the Facebook post.

His handcuffs were removed, and officers began performing CPR until paramedics arrived on the scene. The paramedics continued to perform life-saving measures until the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Sheriff's Office was contacted and took over the investigation, according to Farmington Police Department policy.

The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator has the autopsy of the man scheduled for Friday, according to Lincoln.

Once the cause of death is determined, Lincoln said the Sheriff's Office will decide to release additional information, including the name of the man who died.

The incident was described as more of a medical incident than a criminal situation, Lincoln said.

Anyone with information is asked to call dispatch at 505-334-6622 and ask to speak to Det. Andrew Gilbert. Anyone who witnessed the incident is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Office detective division.