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Woman says she regrets calling for help after Salt Lake man dies in police custody

Posted at 5:14 PM, Oct 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-16 20:39:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY — “He needed somebody to help him, not let him die,” said Glenda Smart on the front lawn of her Salt Lake City home Friday. Her long-time boyfriend, 43-year-old Jesus Cruz-Jimenez was arrested in the front yard of the same home in the early morning hours of October 5. “Just that I love him and I miss him and I wish he was here,” said Smart.

Jesus Cruz-Jimenez died in police custody at an unknown time on October 5, 2020. According to Smart, Jesus was acting out-of-sorts, may have been having a reaction to drugs and was pleading for help.

“Some time between putting our clothes away and 4:30 in the morning he just snapped,” said Smart, who noted she had never seen Jesus act in that manner in their 12 years together. “I called 911, the police showed up here, they pretty much threw him to the ground, he was fighting with the police, I kept telling him to calm down but he just, I don’t know how other to describe it other than he was kind of out of control.”

Smart says she watched the physical altercation from her front door that morning.

“They put him in a body restraint and handcuffs behind his back and they ended up tasing him three times,” she told Fox13. “He kept telling the officers ‘help me’ and they just kept fighting with him and after he was put in the back of the police car, I don’t know what happened.”

As Jesus was put into a patrol car, that is final time Glenda saw Jesus alive.

Fox13 has reached out to numerous law enforcement agencies either involved in the arrest, jail procedure or the investigation. The only information shared is as follows:

“Jesus Cruz-Jimenez was brought to the Salt Lake County Jail in restraints by Salt Lake City Police Department on Monday, October 5. Upon removal of the restraints he became unresponsive, life saving measures were performed, and he was transported to the hospital where he passed away. The OICI protocol was immediately initiated and Protocol Team Three is investigating the incident. Information about any arrest is provided by the arresting agency. Due to the ongoing investigation we are unable to provide additional information.” – Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, October 9, 2020

Smart and her attorney are skeptical of the bruising that was found days later Jesus’ body.

“You don’t think those bruises are from right here?,” asked Fox13 reporter Brian Schnee pointing at the front lawn where the physical altercation between officers and Cruz-Jimenez may have happened. “No, they weren’t,” said Smart. “If the cuts and bruises on his face would have happened here, I would have had blood on my concrete.”

Since the investigation is active, requests for body camera video from the arrest and documentation have not been granted or made available.

Smart says she’s still trying to process how calling for help ended up with the death of her consummate husband. “I will regret the rest of my life 9-1-1, I should have just put him in the car and took him to the emergency room myself instead of having this happen to him,” said Smart, who acknowledged that the death is still being investigated. “We need justice for him and we need the truth to come out to know exactly what happened to him.”

According to Smart, Jesus was a construction worker, a soccer fan and enjoyed his role as a father-figure to her five children. “He was the type of person that would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it or he would give you his last penny if he knew it would help you,” said Smart.

Days after detectives knocked on Smart’s front door to give her the news of Cruz-Jimenez’ death, their family dog passed away. According to Smart’s attorney, the Mexican Embassy is now looking into the death of Jesus Cruz-Jimenez. His body is going to be returned to Mexico to be buried with other family members.

“His dad is in Mexico and while most of his family is over in Mexico and they want him to be buried next to his mom,” said Smart. “I’m angry, I’m hurt because he didn’t deserve to die.”