KPD e-Press Release: (UPDATE) Death of Prisoner in Kingsport City Jail

Kingsport Police Department

Press Release

Incident Information

Type of Incident (UPDATE) Death of Prisoner in Kingsport City Jail
Date & Time of Arrest November 4, 2013

Approximately 7:00 AM

Location of Arrest 411 Allen Drive

Kingsport, TN

Date & Time of Death November 5, 2013

Approximately 5:00 AM

Location of Death Kingsport City Jail

200 Shelby Street

Kingsport, TN

Deceased Information

Name Michael R. Baker
Date of Birth/Age 7/6/1974

39 Years of Age

Race/Sex White/Male
Address Church Hill, TN
Charge(s) 1) Vandalism Under $500

2) Public Intoxication

3) Disorderly Conduct

4) Resisting Arrest

General Narrative

An individual who was arrested for Vandalism and several other charges has died in the Kingsport City Jail.

On November 4, 2013 at approximately 7:00 AM Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to 411 Allen Drive in Kingsport in reference to a subject there causing a disturbance. Upon arrival, the responding officers encountered an individual later identified as Michael R. Baker. Mr. Baker was behaving aggressively and erratically, and appeared to be under the influence of some unknown intoxicant. He was screaming and shouting statements that did not make any sense.

The subsequent investigation revealed that Mr. Baker had come to 411 Allen Drive and had begun beating on the door of the residence, screaming, causing a disturbance, breaking items on the patio, and tearing the screen off a window. Neither the resident, nor any of several other people who witnessed the incident, knew Mr. Baker.

Officers arrested Mr. Baker for his own safety and the safety of the public. While attempting to place him in the patrol car, he passively balled up his body to prevent the officers from inserted him into the vehicle. He then began actively kicking at the officers. He was eventually contained in the cruiser and transported to the Kingsport City Jail.

Mr. Baker’s criminal charges included:

1) Vandalism Under $500

2) Public Intoxication

3) Disorderly Conduct

4) Resisting Arrest

Upon his arrival at the Kingsport City Jail, his aggressive and erratic behavior continued. Based on these observations, he was temporarily placed in a protective restraint chair designed to limit his mobility for his own safety. He was removed from the restraint chair approximately four hours later when he became less combative; however, his irrational conduct continued.

Because of his actions and for safety reasons, his processing had been delayed until he calmed down. He was observed regularly for the next several hours with no significant change in his demeanor.

On November 5th, at approximately 5:00 AM, Mr. Baker was observed by jail personnel to be unresponsive. Medical help was immediately summoned, but upon their arrival the Kingsport Fire Department determined that he was deceased.

The following is a statement from David Quillin, Chief of Police:

“There is absolutely no indication at this time that Mr. Baker’s death was anything except the result of an unknown medical condition. There is absolutely no indication of foul play, as he was by himself. The Kingsport Police Department contacted the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office to insure that an independent, complete, and transparent investigation was completed. An autopsy has been ordered in this case. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the family.”

For additional information, please contact:

P.I.O. Thomas M. Patton

K.P.D. Community Relations & Crime Prevention Unit


Releasing Officer P.I.O. Thomas M. Patton

K.P.D. Community Relations & Crime Prevention Unit

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