Seriously Injured Tulsa Inmate Transported To Hospital In Patrol Car

Thursday, May 26th 2016, 6:59 pm
By: Tess Maune

News On 6 partner, The Frontier, says they've obtained medical records that show the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office waited several days to take a mentally ill prisoner to the hospital last month.

The Sheriff’s Office held a news conference Thursday and addressed the issue. Sheriff Vic Regalado said he held the news conference to clear the air and get the facts straight about what happened to former inmate David Fulps.

Regalado said Fulps was injured when he jumped from a bunk bed and hit a sink - Fulps broke his neck, back and pelvis.

Fulps' attorney said a deputy took him to the hospital in the back of a patrol car several days later, but the detective sergeant who investigated the incident said Fulps was taken to the hospital within a few hours of being injured.

The Sheriff's Office said Fulps lied on the floor for about two hours but that staff members checked on him every 30 minutes, each time he told staff he was OK.

The investigators said when staff saw blood under his elbow they decided he needed medical help.

The Frontier reports medical records show Fulps was diagnosed with a fractured vertebrae in his neck, a fractured pelvis, fracture of a bone in the lower spine and a fractured rib. Fulps also had a "large abrasion" on his forehead.

The sheriff said he believes Fulps was transported to the hospital in a patrol car because staff had no way of knowing the severity of his injuries.

“Our hopes were to get across facts and not assumptions, or innuendo, or gossip. It's an incident that happened, unfortunately. As far as we can tell from the investigative process, there was nothing done wrong by the DOs or the supervisory staff during this incident,” Regalado said.

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.

News On 6 partner, The Frontier, has been covering this story. You can read their story here.