LULING, Texas (KXAN) — A man died after police tried to subdue him Saturday in Luling.
Police went to the 1300 block of Fannin Street Saturday after 3 p.m. after getting a report of a man who was banging on someone’s door, throwing rocks at “people who didn’t exist” and yelling that “people were trying to kill him,” according to a Luling Police Department release. When police arrived, 36-year-old Andrew Carmona jumped into the back of their patrol car.
Police took him out to search him for weapons, then let him get back in. By that time, his sister had arrived. “She had been looking for Carmona because someone had called her and told her he had left his mother’s house and was acting crazy,” according to a release from LPD.
“He was just saying that somebody was trying to get him, but he has been saying that for a couple of days now,” said Carmona’s sister Mary Carmona.
Police say Carmona hadn’t committed a crime, so he wasn’t under arrest, but they wanted to help. “The family lived not that far away. Officers made the decision to take him home and release him to his parents,” said Luling Police Chief Bill Sala.
The officers took Carmona to his mother’s home. When they got there, he was jumping around in the back of the police car and yelling, so police pulled him out, according to a release.
“When they opened the door, he said, ‘see, see? They’re trying to kill me.’ After that they grabbed him and threw him on the ground,” said Carmona’s mother Alice Laris.
After a struggle, they handcuffed him, but police say he started kicking and fighting them when they tried to get him to stand up. They then held his legs to keep him from kicking them. EMS was called for a scrape to his forehead from the street.
“When they attempted to roll him back over and get him up, officers noted that he was foaming at the mouth but not breathing,” the release stated.
“I told them he’s foaming, he can’t breathe, y’all are pressing him too much,” said Laris. “Officers told me to get back and I told them that he was foaming.”
“They killed my son! We kept telling them he couldn’t breathe,” said Laris.
Police say the officers began CPR as they waited for EMS to arrive. Carmona died on scene.
The victim’s family tells KXAN Carmona had a run-in with the law a few years ago and spent seven years behind bars for forgery and theft. Three weeks ago he was released and family says he seemed to be doing fine.
Chief Sala says investigators are now working to determine what caused his death and why he was acting the way he was, whether he was suffering from some sort of mental illness or if drugs played a part.
“There was definitely a disturbance of some sort, but I’m not medically qualified to give you an answer on that,” said Sala.
Sala says his department is small with only eight officers on staff. The two police officers who responded to the call have not been placed on administrative leave. Officials say both officers followed proper protocol and no weapons were used.