Michael Jones, 43, was arrested for disturbing the peace and battery on a police officer, Abbeville Police Chief Rick Coleman said.
He was brought to Abbeville General Hospital shortly after being arrested to clear him medically, Coleman said. Coleman said Jones was brought there because of the amount of alcohol and narcotics he suspected Jones had consumed.
Capt. Wendell Raborn, an Iberia Parish Sheriff Office spokesman, said deputies began noticing Jones was “acting strangely” in the holding cell.
The Daily Iberian Newspaper on Sunday reported that Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal said officials saw blood in Jones’ cell and that he was “sweating profusely and ranting.” The Daily Iberian reported when warden Frank Eillis opened the cell, Jones bit Ellis in the chest and drew blood, Ackal said.
Deputies subdued Jones, but Ackal said Jones was not beaten.
“I am more than satisfied there was no wrongdoing on the part of our guys,” Ackal said in The Daily Iberian. “I know he wasn’t beaten in my jail.”
Iberia Parish Coroner James Falterman said cause and the manner of death had not been determined.
The Jones’s family already hired Abbeville attorney Louis Garrot, who is a friend of the family.
Garrot said that he may file a wrongful death suit depending on the autopsy report. He said he requested a full-scale independent investigation.
An independent autopsy is being conducted today.
The Louisiana State Police were called in to investigate.
Family members were quoted in The Daily Iberian as saying the Abbeville arresting officers shot Jones with a Taser. Garrot said Jones went to the hospital for a reason and Garrot wants to find out why. Coleman refused to comment.
Ackal said in the news article, “I want to get to the bottom of this. “I want to know what happened to his guy before he got to us.”