Memphis man facing charges after allegedly biting officer, threatening neighbors while under the influence

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The TBI is investigating after a wild weekend in one Nutbush neighborhood.

Officers responded to the 1700 block of North Graham just after 11:30 Saturday night. Upon arrival, they were told 37-year-old Carlos Rutiaga was possibly armed with a knife, made threats towards neighbors and was under the influence of drugs.

Yamileth Avitia says she was in her home with friends when Rutiaga tried to get inside and threatened them.

"He came towards her with a knife and said, 'Someone is going to get killed tonight.' He was walking out in the rain. He would walk, go change into dry clothes and come walk in the rain again."

According to a police report, Rutiaga's mother says he was high on marijuana and cocaine and told neighbors to just ignore him.

But Avitia called the police Saturday night. She says they came out but nothing was done.

Later that night, Rutiaga is accused of approaching another neighbor's home and they called 911. That encounter was caught on camera.

In the surveillance footage, at least four officers can be seen trying to calm him down. According to the police report, his mother wanted him out of her home.

"He would go towards her, like he was trying to do something," a neighbor said.

That's when his mother told officers he had a weapon.

Avitia says that made Rutiaga even more angry, and that's when he got aggressive.

"I think they did the tazor on him, and it didn't do anything to him," she said.

Police say, Rutiaga bit an officer on the elbow while resisting arrest. And when he was in a squad car, he began kicking so officers had to tie him up.

Moments later, officers observed the suspect having difficulty breathing. They removed him from the backseat of the squad car and began chest compressions.

Rutiaga was transported to Regional One Hospital in extremely critical condition, but he has since improved.

Police say it appears he may have suffered an adverse reaction to narcotics.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations is investigating because officers were involved and because of the victim's condition.

The officers who was bitten received treatment on the scene and should be okay.

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