A man suspected of shoplifting at an Ace Hardware Store was in critical but stable condition at a local hospital on Friday morning, the day after he was tackled by two store employees and two witnesses.
According to Salt Lake City Police, the man — whose identity has not been released — was confronted, tackled and detained by the employees and witnesses in the parking lot of the store at 612 E. 400 South. When police arrived shortly after 7 p.m., they put the man in handcuffs, One of the officers “immediately saw that he was not breathing" and began trying to revive him, said SLCPD detective Michael Ruff.
“As far as we know, none of our officers used any force,” he added. “When we arrived, he was being held down by the employees and the witnesses.”
There were no signs of obvious injury, Ruff said, and police do not know what caused the man to stop breathing.
Because the man had been placed in handcuffs, “that makes it an OICI [officer-involved critical incident] by state law," Ruff said. Unified Police are investigating.