TBI: Cookeville Man Dies After Altercation With Deputies - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

TBI: Cookeville Man Dies After Altercation With Deputies

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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said a Cookeville man died after a physical altercation with sheriff's deputies on Monday night.

Putnam County Sheriff's deputies along with EMS were called to a home on Cane Creek Road after 41-year-old James McCollum started having hallucinations because of drug withdrawals.

"He woke up delusional that morning acting really weird and jumping on the bed, not acting like himself," said Madonna Deluca, McCollum's ex-wife. "I called the ambulance and they called the sheriff."

McCollum reportedly became combative and authorities cuffed him. That's when he suffered some kind of medical emergency after witnesses said he was tased 8 to 10 times.

"I begged them to stop tasing him because he had a bad heart," said Deluca.

EMTs administered aid, but McCollum died. His family and friends said it didn't have to happen.

"It's just hard to believe that he's gone, and how he died," said Deluca. "I believe he died at the hands of the law."

An autopsy will be done to figure out exactly what happened, but Sheriff David Andrews believes his deputies did the right thing.

"I know what I've been told, and I'm one that will back my officers until I'm told something went south," said Andrews.

Three deputies were taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries and released.

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