Agents Investigate Arrest Death Of Cookeville Man

Posted at 2:51 PM, Jul 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-01 15:51:52-04

Authorities have been investigating the death of a man who became unresponsive while he was being arrested by police officers.

Officials with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a news release that agents have been looking into the death of 37-year-old Richard Sparks early Friday.

The bureau said Sparks was walking in the median of Interstate 40 when Cookeville Police Department officers approached him. The bureau added Sparks became combative, and he was placed on the ground and handcuffed.

Authorities said Sparks became unresponsive and officers suspected an opioid overdose. They gave him naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of opioids, but it didn't work.

The bureau said officers also used a defibrillator on Sparks, with no success. He died at a hospital.

The officers involved have not been identified.