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Police investigating in-custody death of domestic violence suspect

SALT LAKE CITY — Unified Police will investigate the death of a man who fell about ten feet while wearing handcuffs after his arrest on domestic violence charges.

The girlfriend of Robert Martinez, 38, claims he put a blanket over her, hit her, tried to take her cell phone, and imprisoned her for several hours at her apartment on East Browning Avenue on April 7.

Salt Lake City officers caught up with Martinez at his apartment once the victim was able to make a 911 call. It took them about half an hour to convince Martinez to open the door.

Once inside, police say Martinez started complaining about a previous leg injury. The officers called medical staff, who eventually cleared him.

Martinez was handcuffed and started slowly walking down the stairs, police say, when he fell over the railing for some reason.

Salt Lake Police Captain Jeff Kendrick says Martinez fell about 10 feet. However, he died April 20 from a head injury he suffered during the fall.

Salt Lake Police have released body camera footage of the incident.

This is the second time a person has died during an officer-involved critical incident this year in Salt Lake City, including the State Street shooter, who died the same day Martinez was arrested, April 8.