EXCLUSIVE: Hector Arreola’s Death Changed To Homicide
Hector Arreola Died After Calling Police For Help
In a stunning reversal, the state’s medical examiner has officially ruled Hector Arreola’s death a homicide. The amended report comes three and a half years after he called local police for help and died after the encounter. Arreola’s cause and manner of death was recently amended on his official autopsy report according to two different sources with first hand knowledge of the change.
The 30 year old Columbus man was under the influence of methamphetamine when he called police twice for help in January 2017. Hector became agitated and before paramedics could arrive police officers moved to make an arrest, tackling him for disorderly conduct.
“Ma, they’re gonna kill me.”
In the two changes, Arreola’s cause of death was amended from methamphetamine toxicity to quote “sudden cardiac death following a struggle with law enforcement including prone position restraint complicating acute methamphetamine toxicity.” A police officer sat on Hector after he was handcuffed for over two minutes with substantial force applied.
The second change was Arreola’s manner of death from accidental to homicide which again cited sudden cardiac death following a struggle with police. It was unclear if the medical examiner had an opportunity to view the body camera video at the time of the initial autopsy report.
The ruling happens to coincide with a national uproar over the George Floyd case and police brutality but this case has been fueled by Hector’s family and attorney Mark Post who spent nearly two decades as a prosecutor. The family’s claim of excessive force in federal court is now inching closer to a jury trial.