CLEBURNE COUNTY, Ark.– Arkansas State Police are investigating the death of a man in the custody of Cleburne County Sheriff deputies Saturday.
The Cleburne County Sheriff Chris Brown said the man died in custody after a fight with deputies at 502 Heber Springs Road West.
Our reporter Price McKeon talked with a woman who said her 34-year-old brother Heath Snowden is the man who died after that fight with deputies.
Jennifer Hare told us on the phone that she did not want to go on camera and say much about her brother’s death until she learns what the cause of death was.
Hare gave us a photo of her brother to use in this story. She said she spent the day with family trying to process his unexpected death.
Sunday afternoon we met Mary Heffington outside the Hill of Hope where deputies said the fight occurred.
Heffington said, “I feel kind of responsible.”
She said she knew Heath Snowden. She said she brought him to live at the ministry this summer to give him a home.
She said, “He would talk to angels that weren’t there.”
Heffington told us Snowden painted her fence and stayed at her house for two days before she drove him to the ministry this summer.
The Cleburne County Sheriff said a man died after a fight with deputies.
Heffington said, “I feel like I could’ve or should’ve done something talk to him more about getting help.”
The sheriff’s office did not release the name of the man as of Sunday night.
The sheriff said deputies were first dispatched Saturday to help with a medical call. He said when deputies got there a male was acting “disorderly.”
The sheriff said deputies tried to talk to the man but he tried to fight them. He said a “very intense physical” fight lasting “several minutes” ensued. He said once in custody the man was in “medical distress.”
Deputies began CPR and ran back to ask EMS on scene for assistance, according to the sheriff. Sheriff Brown said doctors pronounced the man dead at the hospital.
Cleburne Co. Sheriff just sent me this e-mail reply to questions ab. the death of a man in custody after a fight with deputies Sat @ARNews pic.twitter.com/ed5vPdGoTm— Price McKeon (@PriceMcKeon) September 18, 2017
“I just care for him like he was my grandson and he would always tell me you are an angel. You’ve been sent by God to help me,” Heffington said.
She said she knew Snowden for about a year through church and never saw a violent side.
She continued, “Every time he sees you, anybody, anybody that he knew he’d say give me a hug. He’d want a hug.”
The Cleburne County Sheriff said the deputies involved are currently on paid administrative leave.
Arkansas State Police are investigating.