Authorities are investigating at a Central Florida jail after an inmate believed to be on drugs violently fought deputies and died after being restrained.
Eric Nelson died Friday at the lockup in Frostproof, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.
Nelson is said to have become enraged and begun kicking the door to his cell after he was arrested on charges of possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
Deputies decided to transport him to a medical dorm where he could be on suicide watch. There, Nelson punched a deputy twice in the face and hit, kicked and bit other deputies when they attempted to handcuff him, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
“It was abundantly evident to the deputies that he exhibited strength greater than a normal person, likely due to the influence of an illegal drug,” it said.
Deputies finally were able to handcuff and put restraints on Nelson and took him to a cell, where he was placed on the floor so the restraints could be removed. As deputies were preparing to leave, they noticed that he wasn’t breathing, the news release said.
There was no online docket of Nelson’s case with the Polk County Clerk of Court, so it couldn’t be determined if he had a lawyer.
Polk County is located midway between Orlando and Tampa.