CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- At 6 a.m. today, Jeremy Thomas Rinehart will be taken off a ventilator and die.
The 33-year-old Fayette County man was declared brain-dead by doctors at Raleigh General Hospital after going into convulsions en route to Southern Regional Jail on Saturday.
His family wants to know why this happened in police custody - and just after leaving Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill. An autopsy will be performed on him today, they said Tuesday.
"He was pulled over for some type of moving violation and he had drugs on him," said his stepmother, Lisa Rinehart. "He got scared and he swallowed them."
Lisa Rinehart said Jeremy ingested cocaine to keep police from finding it. According to police, he was arrested for driving on a suspended license. He also was charged after the arrest with obstructing an officer and battery on an officer, Oak Hill Police Chief Michael Whisman said Monday.
"They had scuffed him around. His shoulders were tore up, his face was tore up. I imagine he was combative and not easy to deal with. There's evidence of that on his body," Lisa Rinehart said.
When he realized he was going to be arrested, he told police what he did, Rinehart said. Police told her he kept begging them to uncuff him so he could put his finger down his throat and throw up the drugs, Rinehart said.
Police didn't uncuff him, but they did take him to the hospital, where he was treated.
"They gave him something to counteract the drugs," Lisa Rinehart said.
According to information provided by Oak Hill police on Monday, he was treated there for more than two hours, Whisman said.
Lisa Rinehart said she is "99 percent sure" Jeremy had outstanding medical bills at the hospital. She wonders if that was the reason he was released early.
She said police told her that while they were driving from the hospital to the jail, Jeremy kept telling them that he was dying.
"The cops said to us ... 'You know how many times we hear that?'" Rinehart said. "When he started to seizure, they realized he wasn't faking it."
The police pulled the car over and started giving Jeremy mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, she said.