Officers cleared of wrongdoing in 2017 death of man at Justice C - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Officers cleared of wrongdoing in 2017 death of man at Justice Center

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On September 7, 2017, Eliezer Tirado-Ortiz was found unresponsive and later died while in custody at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center.

That day, Tirado-Ortiz had been arrested for causing a disturbance and damaging property at a location on South Circle Drive. When he was arrested, the 40-year-old was sweating heavily and behaving in a hyper-active manner. When he was placed in a patrol car banged his head against windows and admitted to being under the influence of heroin.

According to authorities, when Tirado-Ortiz was transferred to the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center, he was speaking very rapidly and was non-compliant with CJC officer's orders.

While attempting to move Tirado-Ortiz to a holding cell, CJC officers had to restrain his arms and legs and attempted to cover his face with a spit sock. According to authorities, officers used hand and knee strikes as they attempted to restrain the man and put the spit sock over his face. 

After subduing Tirado-Ortiz, deputies left the cell but returned one minute later to find the man unresponsive. With the assistance of the CJC nursing staff, deputies attempted to render aid to the man by performing CPR and administering Narcan, a nasal spray used to counteract the effects of opioid overdose.

According to police, the CJC personnel could not revive Tirado-Ortiz and he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy was performed by the El Paso County Coroner, who determined the cause of death to be the result of heroin and methamphetamine intoxication associated with necessary physical restraint by law enforcement.

The investigation into the incident was reviewed by the Tenth Judicial District Attorney's Office. They determined there was no evidence to prosecute any of the involved law enforcement or medical personnel in regards to the death of Tirado-Ortiz

Authorities said the death of Tirado-Ortiz was a tragic event precipitated by the use of heroin and methamphetamine.

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