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TBI INVESTIGATING DEATH OF MAN WHILE IN COOKEVILLE POLICE CUSTODY

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The TBI is investigating what led to a man passing away while being arrested by Cookeville police officers. Officers say the incident around 12:30 this morning (Friday, June 30, 2017) when officers responded to reports of a man walking in the median of Interstate 40 near mile marker 288. Police said 37-year-old Richard Thomas Sparks became combative and officers eventually handcuffed Sparks. A short time later, he became unresponsive. Officers made several attempts to revive Sparks on scene. The report says the officers suspected a drug overdose and administered a dose of naloxone. When that was unsuccessful, officers attempted to revive Sparks with an automatic external defibrillator, which was also unsuccessful. The TBI will submit their investigative findings to the District Attorney’s Office for further review and consideration.


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