A man arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in the early morning hours of Monday, April 24, 2023 suffered a medical episode while being transported to the Polk County Sheriff’s Processing Center and died later at Bartow Regional Medical Center.
58-year old Maximino Lopez-Gonzalez of Lakeland was exhibiting signs of possible excited delirium and was transferred to an ambulance on the Polk Parkway at US 98 to be taken to a local hospital.
Deputies first came into contact with Lopez-Gonzalez when they responded to his residence in a neighborhood off of Old Tampa Hwy and CR 542 in Lakeland at around 2:09 am, in reference to a family disturbance.
The investigation determined that Lopez-Gonzalez had doused a bedridden female relative with a chemical cleaning agent and threatened to kill her. Lopez-Gonzalez was arrested for battery-domestic violence on a victim 65-years old or older, and for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
After handcuffing him, Lopez-Gonzalez resisted deputies’ attempts to put him in the patrol car and kicked the deputies many times.
During transport to the Sheriff’s Processing Center, Lopez-Gonzalez managed to get a hand free from the handcuffs and began striking the windows with his fists and head, he was acting erratically. The deputy stopped the car, and requested assistance.
Other deputies responded, noticed his erratic behavior, that he was sweating profusely and making statements about seeing people and objects that were not there, leading deputies to believe he was showing signs of possible excited delirium, and/or methamphetamine intoxication, and Polk County EMS was requested to the scene.
The deputies struggled to pull Lopez-Gonzalez out of the car and handcuff him again.
Lopez-Gonzalez punched one deputy in the face and bit another deputy’s finger.
Deputies discovered a clear baggie on the back seat of the patrol car containing residue of a crystal-like substance which tested positive for methamphetamine.
EMS arrived, took custody of Lopez-Gonzalez, and while en route to the hospital, he became unresponsive, and medics began life-saving measures.
At 10:58 pm, Maximino Lopez-Gonzalez was pronounced deceased at the hospital.
On Tuesday, April 25th, an autopsy was performed on Lopez-Gonzalez which concluded that none of his injuries were a result of law enforcement actions. It revealed liver disease and an enlarged heart. The autopsy results are pending toxicology reports.
Per standard protocol, there are four investigations currently underway: an independent investigation by the 10th Judicial Circuit’s Officer Involved Deadly Incident (OIDI) Task Force; an internal investigation by the PCSO Administrative Investigations Unit; the Polk County Medical Examiner conducts the autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death; and all investigative findings are forwarded to the 10th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office for their investigation and review.