LAFAYETTE — The March death of a Scott man who died nearly a week after being arrested in March is under investigation by Louisiana State Police, KATC-TV is reporting.
The Lafayette Coroner’s Office indicates the death of Robert Minjarez Jr. was caused by “compressional asphyxia due to face-down physical restraint by law enforcement officers,” with contributing factors of a condition called rhabdomyolysis (a breakdown of muscle tissue that can affect the kidneys) and cocaine toxicity.
The day before the run-in with police, the coroner reports, Minjarez, against medical advice, left an emergency room where he was treated for rhabdomyolysis.
The next day, March 2, Scott and Carencro police officers, as well as deputies with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, were called to the Texaco Gas Station on Pont Des Mouton Road and University Avenue in Lafayette, where Minjarez was standing outside the door, hallucinating.
The report indicates that surveillance video shows he was cuffed, both his hands and legs, and then pinned to the ground. Three or four officers are seen in the video on top of Minjarez, KATC reports. In the audio, Minjarez can reportedly be heard begging for help, saying he cannot breathe.
Minjarez was taken to a hospital. Six days later he was dead.