While in the cruiser, the officers "experienced trouble" with Rinehart and called for backup, Whisman said on Monday. Officers also said the man was going into convulsions. The Fayette County 911 Center sent an ambulance and State Police, Whisman said Monday.
Jeremy Rinehart stopped breathing before the ambulance got there, and police started CPR. He was then taken to Raleigh General Hospital, Whisman said Monday.
State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous said Monday that state troopers were sent to the scene to assist in restraining an unruly prisoner. He also confirmed that the man had a medical emergency while State Police were on the scene.
By the time he was resuscitated, he'd been without oxygen for more than 10 minutes, Lisa Rinehart said.
She said she believes Plateau Medical Center never should have let him leave with police.
"All this could have been avoided if the hospital had done its job. They should have never, ever released him or transported him," Lisa Rinehart said. "Yes, the boy was messed up but they never should have done what they done. If they had just let him throw up or listened to him at the hospital ... this never would have happened."
Whisman said he didn't want to comment further on the matter on Tuesday, other than to say his officers did a good job and handled themselves well.
A spokeswoman for Plateau Medical Center said the hospital could not comment because of federal privacy laws.
Police told Lisa Rinehart they had to take Jeremy to jail after he was released from the hospital.
"I don't blame the cops at all in this," she said. "Once they realized what the boy was telling them was true, they did what they could."
Now, Jeremy's three children are without a father, said his uncle Michael Settle.
"He was in the wrong crowd, doing the wrong thing," he said.
Jeremy will be an organ donor, Settle said.
Reach Gary Harki at gha...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.