A man who ran into the lobby of the Dallas County jail seeking help ended up dying after two deputies pounced on him, placing knees on his neck and back as he told them he was unable to breathe Saturday morning.
“He came in saying, ‘Don’t be scared of me. I just need some help.’ They just tackled him as if he’d threatened their lives, ” witness April Berryhill told the Dallas Morning News.
“He didn’t have a weapon. He wasn’t swinging at the officers. He just needed help.”
But deputies say the man was a threat and needed to be restrained, which is why they had to handcuff him.
When they realized he was dying, they removed the cuffs and placed him on his back where his face had gone from pale white to pale blue.
The incident took place at 10 a.m. but it took the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department almost 12 hours before it released his name because they needed to dig up enough dirt on him to present to the media.
Authorities have identified the man as 48-year-old Joseph Sheldon Hutcheson. He spent nearly five months in Dallas County jail last year in connection with earlier possession of a controlled substance and evading arrest offenses. He also had a pending public intoxication charge in Arlington at the time of his last jail stay.
Dallas County records show a long list of arrests for DWI, evading arrest, resisting arrest and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. One of the conviction was for cocaine possession.
In Tarrant County, he also has a long criminal history stretching back to a conviction for a car burglary he committed when he was 17.
Another witness said Hutcheson was clutching his heart after he parked his truck and before running into the lobby, where he asked for a supervisor and exclaimed that his wife was out to kill him.