Denver Police Department officials on Wednesday released body-worn-camera video of the arrest of a 36-year-old man who stopped breathing minutes after he was handcuffed and died less than two days later.
Police arrested James Hutchinson about 12:20 a.m. Nov. 15, 25 minutes after Hutchinson called 911 and reportedly was rambling and yelling at a dispatcher and stating he thought he was having a heart attack, Cmdr. Matt Clark said during a news conference about the incident Wednesday.
Hutchinson stopped breathing shortly after he was handcuffed and was pronounced dead at Denver Health at 6 a.m. Nov. 16, Clark said. The cause of Hutchinson’s death is under investigation by the medical examiner’s office.
Hutchinson hung up on the dispatcher after he called 911, Clark said. The call-taker tried to call him back, but his phone was out of service. The dispatcher still initiated a response for a medical incident, Clark said.
Two minutes later, a security guard at the King Soopers at 1331 Speer Blvd. called 911 about a man at the store who was sweating profusely and saying someone was attempting to chase him or rob him.
Paramedics who responded to the scene attempted to evaluate him, but Hutchinson was “agitated and noncompliant,” Clark said. Hutchinson left the ambulance. He later was seen throwing a rock at the door of a nearby building, and the Denver Fire crew requested police to respond.
An officer who responded told Hutchinson to keep his hands up. But Hutchinson ran away, and the officer did not chase him, Clark said, instead gathering information from fire department personnel.
At 12:16 a.m., a security guard at an apartment building on 901 14th Ave. called 911 to report Hutchinson had broken an exterior window and forced his way into the building. Guards had wrestled him to the ground. One security guard hit Hutchinson because he was biting him, Clark said.
Body-worn-camera video shows two security guards holding Hutchinson on the ground when officers responded to the scene. One officer kneeled on Hutchinson’s back to restrain him while he was handcuffed and then rolled onto his side, the footage shows.
After Hutchinson is on his side, officers can be heard asking his first name and if he can sit up. The officers leaned him against the wall in a sitting position and tried to rouse him. After an officer was unable to feel his pulse, the officer started CPR while another retrieved naloxone, which is used to treat opioid overdoses.
The three officers involved in the arrest did not strike Hutchinson or use and “less-lethal systems,” Clark said.
The incident is under investigation, Clark said.
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