Texas Rangers investigating death of 34-year-old
Texas Rangers have been called in to investigate the death of a 34-year-old Sulphur Springs man who died in a Tyler hospital after he was found unresponsive in a cell at Hopkins County jail. Tony Chance Ross had been brought to the county jail by Sulphur Springs police officers, who arrested him Friday afternoon after responding to a suspicious person report in the area of W.A. and Beckham streets. The caller said a man was attempting to kick in doors. The man reportedly kicked in one door and was met by a pit bulldog, which he reportedly tossed off. Officers located the suspect, who they were able to identify on sight from previous dealings with him, on or near Lamar Street. He appeared to officers to be in an altered state of mind. A fight ensued as officers tried to get him settled down and into custody, said SSPD Chief Jay Sanders. A Taser was deployed in an attempt to bring the man under control. He reportedly tore out the wires and probes and took off running. An officer caught up with Ross, who continued to fight officers throughout the entire process of placing him into custody and transporting him to the jail, Sanders said. The man was placed in a violence cell, a special jail cell designed to better protect inmates from injuring themselves and others. Afterward, officers left the cell to begin the book-in process for Ross. While doing so, officers heard a sound and ran to check on the man as a precaution. The officer found the man face down on the floor. He did not appear to be conscious or responsive. The officer called for jail staff to get help. The man barely had a pulse, Sanders said. Ross was first taken to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital and then transferred to the Tyler hospital, where he remained on life-support until Sunday. Funeral services are pending at West Oaks Funeral Home for Tony Chance Ross, 34, of Sulphur Springs. Ross died Sunday at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler.