Family seeks answers after Little Rock man suffers ‘medical distress,’ dies after arrest

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) — A Little Rock man died last Friday when police said he suffered “medical distress” after being arrested following a fight at a movie theater. Family members said they hope an autopsy reveals what happened.

Terence Caffey, 30, died after attending a film at the Movie Tavern with a friend. An off-duty deputy returned to the theater that night when employees said Caffey attacked them. Caffey and the deputy then fought.

“After the scuffle, the deputy called for MEMS to check him out and check [Caffey] out, also,” said Lt. Cody Burk, a spokesperson for the Pulaski Co. Sheriff’s Office.

Caffey was arrested before going into what Burk called “medical distress.” He lost consciousness despite CPR being administered.

“He was transported to Baptist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead,” Burk said.

Caffey’s family said he was shot when he was a small child, but other than that, they said they were unaware of any underlying medical problems. 

“We really don’t know [what happened,]” said Nigel Caffey, Terence Caffey’s uncle. “They’re telling us that, we’re hearing different stories, so we really don’t have clear answers, really.”

On Monday, Caffey’s family gathered to release balloons and pray in his honor. They called for justice, adding that would come in the form of released medical records and better answers about what happened.

“He was just a family man,” Nigel Caffey said. “Family man first.”

Burk said an upcoming autopsy will answer questions the family has. He said the sheriff’s department has been in constant communication with Caffey’s loved ones.

“[An autopsy] is quite thorough,” Burk said. “There’s a lot of procedures they go through during it. Hopefully, we’ll get a good answer of what occurred.

The sheriff’s office confirmed body cameras captured the incident, but the footage cannot yet be released because the incident is under investigation. The deputies involved are on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

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