Suspected Shoplifter In Critical, Stable Condition; Police Investigating
May 3, 2019, 1:24 PM
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Unified Police Department is investigating an officer-involved critical incident after a suspected shoplifter ended up in the hospital.
The incident happened Thursday just after 7 p.m. at ACE Hardware, 612 E. 400 South, when detectives say a man concealed items from the store and started to walk out. Workers, joined by two bystanders, confronted the man and a struggle ensued.
At some point, the man stopped breathing.
Det. Michael Ruff, public information officer for the Salt Lake City Police Department, said it wasn’t immediately clear what caused the man’s condition.
“Once our officers arrived, they found employees and witnesses were detaining the suspect,” he said. “They were holding him down in the parking lot. Our officers immediately put handcuffs on that suspect and then quickly realized the suspect was unresponsive.”
Russ said officers then immediately called for medical help and began to administer CPR.
“Right now it does not appear that any of our officers used any force whatsoever ,” he said. “They just placed him in handcuffs, but because he was placed in handcuffs, that requires us to invoke the officer-involved protocol.”
The District Attorney’s Office will be determining if charges will be filed against the people who detained the suspect.
The man was taken to a nearby hospital. His identity has not been released.
By law, Utah retailers have the right to apprehend someone they have reason to believe is stealing, but police said the best course of action is to call 911.