A Florida graffiti artist was taken off life support over the weekend after he sustained a brain injury when he was hit by an undercover Miami Police officer’s car while he was tagging a building.
WTVJ reported that undercover officers spotted Delbert Rodriguez Gutierrez, whose friends call him “Demz,” tagging the privately-owned building at around 2 a.m. on Friday morning.
The City of Miami Police said that Gutierrez ran when he saw the officers, and Detective Michael Cadavid’s car hit the suspect when he jumped from between two vehicles.
Gutierrez was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. Friends and law enforcement said that he had sustained a brain injury.
Fraternal Order of Police spokesperson Javier Ortiz prayed with Gutierrez’s mother in the hospital, and said that her son would not have suffered the brain injury if he had not tried to flee.
“Absolutely terrible, absolutely terrible,” Ortiz told WTVJ. “I had the opportunity to pray over her son, and we wish him the best. It’s a tragedy what occurred.”
“If he would have just stopped, he would have never put himself in this position,” he added. “But now he is in that position, he’s fighting for his life. We’re praying for him, and we hope that he pulls through.”
Miami Police had planned to charge Gutierrez with vandalism if his condition improved, but they may not get the chance.
WTVJ’s Angela Pellerano reported over the weekend that Gutierrez had been taken off of life support, and that he was surrounded by his family and friends. His mother has asked to be left alone with her son.
Watch the WTVJ video report below.
(h/t: Free Thought Project)