Man found unresponsive in Graham police car dies

Local News

UPDATE: JUNE 12, 2020 1:20 a.m.

The family of Eric Montano, a man who suffered injuries in Graham police custody on June 3, said he died Thursday about 8:30 p.m. after being taken off life support.

UPDATE: June 10, 2020 4:32 p.m.

The victim has been identified as Eric Montano according to a GoFund Me account.

Montano’s brother, Rob Montano, released a statement on the website in which he said that Eric was arrested for a noise complaint and now is “fighting for his life”.

“I’ll be sharing some info where you can help, as we will be pursuing charges and trying to find the answers we haven’t received from the Graham Police Department,” Rob Montano wrote. “My brother was arrested for a f****** noise disturbance, and now he’s fighting for his life, this happening in the middle of the night we’re going to need all the footage possible.”

Rob Montano went on to write more about his brother’s arrest.

“My brother has ended up in critical condition hoping for a miracle after being arrested, unarmed and sober,” Rob Montano wrote. “Initial reports say that my brother strangled himself with the seatbelt and went into cardiac arrest. My brother is 35 and drug-free for almost a year now, was in one of the best shapes of his life, working and working out more than ever.”

“Confirmation of arrest was given before hours of silence and the next call was that he was being airlifted to the hospital. We want justice for Eric, his wife and kids and family deserve that. He’s a father to 3 kids. Dominic Suarez, Zander and Jazlyn Montano.”

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Texas Rangers with the assistance of the Graham Police Department will conduct an investigation after an incident on June 3 involving a subject that was in police custody being found unresponsive in the back of a police vehicle.

Graham Police Chief Brent Bullock said that officers had been dispatched to the 1300 block of Remington St. on Wednesday night in reference to a domestic disturbance.

Officers were dispatched to the area around 11:15 p.m. and the initial caller informed the officers that the subject was her estranged husband and that he forced entry into her home and assaulted her.

The officers were able to locate the subject vehicle a white Chevrolet pickup truck traveling on Texas St. Officers then conducted a traffic stop in the parking lot located at 1200 Brazos St.

Two officers were on the scene of a domestic disturbance when the subject was located. Chief Bullock stated that the subject was taken into custody and placed in the back of a patrol vehicle.

“The subject was taken into custody without incident and was restrained with two sets of handcuffs due to his size,” a press release from Graham Police Department stated. “The subject exhibited no signs of distress or signs that he wanted to self-harm. He was placed into the back of a patrol unit.”

Officers began to exchange information on the scene with the subject still in the backseat of the patrol vehicle.

A few minutes after the subject was found unresponsive in the backseat.

“After a few minutes (no more than six) had passed, officers located the subject unresponsive in the backseat of the patrol vehicle and it appeared that the subject was able to wrap the backseat seatbelt around his neck,” Cheif Bullock said in a press release. “Officers immediately started CPR and called for medical assistance, the subject was taken to the Graham Regional Medical Center by ambulance, and later airlifted to United Regional in Wichita Falls in critical condition.”

The incident was fully captured on video and turned over to the Texas Rangers for evidence during an internal investigation.

“This unfortunate incident was captured on video through our patrol units and from the body cameras that each officer was wearing,” the release stated. “Per our procedures, all of the body camera videos, and patrol vehicle videos were downloaded the night of the incident and stored for safekeeping by the administration of the police department. These will be turned over to the Texas Ranger’s Office for investigation. In accordance with department policy, our office will complete an internal investigation as well.”

The Graham Police Department has been in contact with the family.

The family has setup a GoFundMe for the victim.

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