POLICE REPORT: Man arrested in Moore died at hospital, not during struggle with officers
MOORE, Okla. – The Moore Police Department has just released the official report on the arrest of a man before he died in custody hours later.
It also brings clarity to whether Rodriguez died in the parking lot of the Warren Theater.
According to the report, off-duty officers were working as security at the Moore Warren Theatre Feb. 15 and were asked to escort allegedly drunk patrons from the building.
The report states the officers took the two outside to put them in a taxi and called Moore on-duty officers to help.
Moore police say the officers involved were Sgt. Brian Clarkston, officer Ryan Minard, officer Joseph Bradly, Department of Wildlife officer Tyler Howser and Department of Wildlife officer Chad Strang.
Moore officer Minard and officer Bradly went to the Warren to help.
When they arrived, a woman told them about an alleged unrelated fight she witnessed in the parking lot.
Officials said the customer told them she witnessed a physical fight possibly between family members.
The woman pointed out the Rodriguez family to the officers.
Officer Howser said he could tell the family was upset and asked the mother, Nair Rodriguez, what happened.
Nair told Howser her daughter had lied to her, called her dirty names and was being deceitful so she hit the teen girl in the face a few times.
At the same time, officers were talking to her husband, Luis Rodriguez, “a good distance away.”
That’s when Howser saw the other officers struggling with Luis.
The altercation started when Officer Strang asked him what happened and Luis told the officer it was none of his business and was a “family matter.”
Strang asked him for his ID and said Luis told him he wasn’t going to give it to him and tried to walk around him.
At that point, officers Minard, Bradley and Clarkston came over to help.
Officers said Luis “took a defensive stance” and tried to get around them several times.
He got into what they considered “a fighting stance” and “squared off” with officers.
Former U.S. Attorney Robert McCampbell, who has read the report, said, “He’s refusing to cooperate with the officers. He won’t show the ID. He’s walking away. He seemed to have some involvement in the physical altercation that caused officers to come. All those may add up to reasonable, articulable suspicion.”
Clarkston said he thought Luis was trying to get around them to “go after” his family.
Officer Minard tried to put Luis in “investigative detention” until he could find out who he was and what happened during the family altercation.
McCampbell said, “There’s two things going on; when police arrive, they are entitled to take control of the scene. Also, the police are entitled to protect themselves and other bystanders.”
Minard said he tried to handcuff Luis because of his “aggressiveness” but Luis “threw Minard off of him.”
The other officers stepped in and Minard and Luis ended up on the ground.
Officers said Luis ignored their orders to quit fighting them so they used “several compliance techniques” to handcuff him.
According to the police report, officers sat up Luis after he was cuffed and called for a supervisor and paramedics.
Police radio traffic from that night reveals very little about the scene; however, police did release an audio file of the traffic from that night.
They loaded Luis in the ambulance where he stopped breathing and rushed him to the hospital.
Paramedics were taking him to the Moore Medical Center and were able to get him “stabilized.”
A short time later at the Moore Medical Center, the report states that he stopped breathing after a CT scan and died.
McCampbell says, based on what we know right now, it’s hard to decide whether police or Luis Rodriguez were out of line.
He said, “The key questions are going to come before that video was shot.”
The OSBI is conducting the investigation into what happened and whether police acted inappropriately toward Rodriguez.
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