TBI investigates after man dies during arrest by Cookeville police

(Photo: WKRN)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man who died while in the process of being arrested early Friday morning by two Cookeville police officers.

According to a release, police received a call around 12:30 a.m. about a man walking in the median of Interstate 40.

When an officer arrived and made contact with the man, now identified as Richard Sparks, the 37-year-old reportedly became combative.

A second officer arrived to the scene and the two were able to place Sparks on the ground and get him into handcuffs. A short time later Sparks became unresponsive.

Officers suspected an opioid overdose and administered a dose of naloxone and attempted to use a portable defibrillator. Both measures were unsuccessful in reviving Sparks.

The TBI has since gathered relevant information and evidence at the scene. The agency’s findings will be submitted to the District Attorney General for review.

The investigation is active and ongoing.

The officers’ identities have not been released.