Fort Smith Police Investigating Death Of Man Who Appeared to Suffer ‘Medical Issue’ In Custody

FORT SMITH (KFSM) — Fort Smith police are investigating the death of a 56-year-old man who died after showing signs of a “serious medical issue” while he was in police custody on Wednesday (June 28).

Officers arrested Fred Rousseau, 56, around 8 p.m. on Wednesday night after a homeowner reported that a man was lingering around in her backyard and appeared to be under the influence, according to a FSPD press release. When officers arrived, they found Rosseau sitting in the front yard of the woman’s North 35th Street home drinking a beer.

Officers arrested him, and began escorting him to the patrol car when he stared tensing up and displaying signs of a medical issue, the release states. Officers removed the handcuffs and began performing CPR and requested EMS personnel arrive quickly. EMS had already been requested due to his suspected intoxication levels.

Rousseau was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The department is investigating the death, and Rousseau’s body will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy.

Family members told officers they suspected Rousseau had undiagnosed medical issues.