LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A Lakeland man died after committing a series of criminal offenses during a state of erratic behavior, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said at about 2:09 a.m., deputies were called to the home of Maximino Lopez-Gonzalez, 68, of Lakeland for a family disturbance.
Investigators said Lopez-Gonzalez sprayed a bedridden 65-year-old woman with a chemical cleaning liquid while threatening to kill her.
Deputies tried to arrest the man, but he resisted violently by kicking the deputies “many times,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Investigators said he continued to be violent as he was taken to the sheriff’s processing center, where he got a hand free of his cuffs and started hitting the windows of a patrol car with his fists and head. This required the deputy who was transporting the Lopez-Gonzalez to stop and call for help.
“Other deputies responded, noticed his erratic behavior, that he was sweating profusely and making statements about seeing people and objects that were not there, leading deputies to believe he was showing signs of possible excited delirium, and/or methamphetamine intoxication, and Polk County EMS was requested to the scene,” a PCSO release stated.
The release said Lopez-Gonzalez continued to fight deputies as they pulled him out and handcuffed him again, punching one deputy in the eye and biting another’s finger.
It was at this point that deputies found a clear baggie that had a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, the sheriff’s office said.
According to the release, EMS arrived to take him to a hospital, but he became unresponsive on the way there, requiring medics to render emergency care to save his life. However, he was pronounced dead at 10:58 p.m.
An autopsy performed Tuesday found that Lopez’s injuries were not caused by law enforcement officers, and it was discovered that he had liver disease and an enlarged heart. Toxicology results are still pending, according to the sheriff’s office.
Lopez-Gonzalez’s death is now being investigated by the 10th Judicial Circuit’s Officer Involved Deadly Incident (OIDI) Task Force, the PCSO Administrative Investigations Unit, the Polk County Medical Examiner, and the 10th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.