TCSO: Jail Investigation Shows No Wrongdoing In Inmate Injury

Thursday, May 26th 2016, 11:33 pm
By: Tess Maune

Thursday, the Tulsa County sheriff spoke out about an inmate who seriously injured earlier this month.

Former inmate, David Fulps hurt himself. His attorney told our partners at The Frontier it was days before Fulps got medical attention, but Sheriff Vic Regalado said that's not the case. He said a jail investigation showed detention officers and jail staff did nothing wrong.

“They were quite diligent in checking on this individual’s well-being,” said jail investigator, Detective Sergeant Virgil Collett.

Regalado said it's impossible to know exactly what happened, but he believes Fulps fell and hurt himself jumping off the bed or sink in his cell.

Fulps' family told The Frontier their son's doctor said his injuries were of the type and severity usually seen in car accidents and said they don't believe the jail's side of the story.

Medical records show Fulps broke his neck, pelvis, a rib and a bone in his lower spine. The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office says Fulps' injuries occurred while he was acting erratic in an isolated cell May 2nd.

5/26/16 Related Story: Seriously Injured Tulsa Inmate Transported To Hospital In Patrol Car

“One of the evening shift officers, during their 30-minute checks on all the inmates in the cells, heard a thump, or as he put it, 'a loud bang,'” said Collett.

The jail investigator said when the detention officer went to find out what happened he discovered Fulps lying on the floor with damage to the metal bed.

Collett said Fulps lay on the floor for about two hours because he kept telling officers he was OK.

The investigator said an officer noticed a pool of blood under Fulps’ arm and decided he needed medical help.

Collett said, “He was not able to walk, they had placed him in the wheelchair.”

The sheriff said jail staff insisted Fulps go to the hospital, and a patrol car drove him there several hours after the incident.

“They are certainly not medical professionals, nor would they have had any clue of what those injuries were at that point in time,” Regalado said.

His attorney says Fulps should have been taken in an ambulance.

There are cameras in all the units, but the sheriff's office claims not all video from the jail is public record. We have requested the video.

Fulps was in jail on auto theft and larceny charges. He was also charged with assaulting an officer while in jail.

The sheriff said those charges have been dropped in an effort to save money by not having to pay for Fulps’ medical bills and hospital guards.

Regalado said charges could be re-filed against Fulps once he is discharged from the hospital.

Our partner, The Frontier, has also been working on this story. You can find more on their website.