Cardiac problem cause of death, not hogtie restraint says DA

Troy Goode was behaving erratically after 4-5 hits of LSD, fled from police, and fought with EMS and hospital personnel before his death

By Jody Callahan
The Commercial Appeal

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A preliminary ruling indicates Troy Goode may have died of a heart-related problem, DeSoto County Dist. Atty. John Champion said Tuesday.

Goode, 30, was on his way to a Widespread Panic concert in Southaven Saturday when he began acting erratically, forcing his wife to pull over in a parking lot on Goodman Road. Reports indicated he’d taken as many as 4-5 hits of LSD, Champion said.

Police eventually subdued Goode and took him to Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto, where he died a few hours later.

Full autopsy results likely won’t be available for a month, Champion added.

“Basically, (it was) a form of a heart attack. His heart was racing so heavy,” Champion said.

Family and friends have said they believe that officers who subdued Goode caused his death by hogtying him, with his hands and feet locked behind his body.

Champion disputed that Tuesday.

“That’s not indicated by the medical examiner at this point. But he ran about a quarter-mile from the officers. I know where the family’s coming from, but I don’t think that will be the case,” he said.

Champion also defended the restraint method officers used, calling it legal.

“There is an opinion that says that doing that is not excessive force.

“According to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, when you’ve got somebody kicking emergency personnel and police officers, they (can) put leg irons on him,” Champion said. “They were restraining his legs to keep him from injuring himself and emergency and police workers.”

Champion also said that, when officers attempted to subdue Goode, he tried to run onto Goodman Road. Goode also opened the door to the canine unit, and a dog bit him. Preliminary information said Goode had no internal injuries, just the dog bite as well as bruises and scrapes, Champion added.

“He was still fighting and kicking the law-enforcement officers and emergency personnel. They put leg irons on him and he was transported to the hospital,” Champion said. “He was fighting the hospital personnel so they moved him to the back of the hospital where he wouldn’t interfere with other patients.”

Goode family attorney Tim Edwards couldn’t be reached Tuesday afternoon for a response.

About 35 friends and supporters of Goode gathered in Southaven Tuesday night to protest his death with a vigil and quarter-mile walk to the Southaven Police Department.

Most of those there said they didn’t believe the official explanation of what happened.

“I’m here to draw attention to this, to make sure they get a proper investigation done,” Christy Turley said. “Regardless of what he was on, I have no idea why someone would put him facedown.”

Added Alan Armour: “The amount of force used was a little bit excessive.”

Jessica Strickland said, “Regardless of what went down, no one deserves to lose their lives over it.”

A police officer kept watch and directed the march participants to a small grassy area, where the demonstration ended peacefully.


©2015 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)

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