Texas Rangers are investigating after a woman strangled herself with a seatbelt inside a Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle. The woman remains on life support in the Texas Medical Center.
Rubin Velasquez says his wife is brain dead at Memorial Hermann Hospital. He says she's only on life support until her organs can be harvested. He believes this would not have happened if only Fort Bend County Sheriff's deputies responded differently.
“Veta, wake up Veta. Veta wake up. Come on Veta wake up,” Velasquez is heard saying over and over again on a video he recorded. The cell phone recording captures the moments after Fort Bend County Sheriff's deputies realize Velasquez's wife isn't breathing in the back of a patrol vehicle. You can see the deputy struggling to unwrap the seatbelt from 39-year-old Veta Miller's neck.
“Veta” the recording continues, “Sir can you please go?” a deputy says to Velasquez. “I've been trying to tell y'all a long time to take her,” Velasquez responds.
This all started just before midnight last Wednesday. Velasquez says his wife who is bi-polar was suicidal, high on illegal drugs and was trying to get into their Fort Bend County home. So he called 911.
“That's why I called them. I needed some help. I'm 65 years old. I can't handle a person that's suicidal," Velasquez says.
Velasquez says before officers arrived, his wife ripped a screen from the window and tried to wrap material from it around her neck to kill herself. He says he came outside to stop her and she ripped a t-shirt off of him. “From here she grabbed me like this and we both fell to the ground,” he says. He was left with cuts on his arms which are now scabbed over.
Officers arrived and he says his wife's behavior was so bizarre deputies were asking what's wrong with her. He says he repeatedly told them. “She was getting ready to attack that officer and I said 'no, no, no you better not do that. You're going to go to jail.' That's when she started attacking me again.”
So deputies put Miller in the back of the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office SUV and Velasquez says left her there and continued asking him questions such as "Does she live here? Does she receive mail here? Are you guys married? Do you want to file trespassing charges against her?" “I said 'no, no, no, no forget trespassing. Just get her to the hospital,'” Velasquez says. In fact, the grieving husband tells us he repeatedly asked deputies to take his wife to the hospital.
”I sat there trying to explain to them, explain to them. It went in one ear and out the other ear.”
Velasquez is heard on the video saying ”I told y'all to take her to the hospital a long time ago." "Go inside your house," a deputy responds. "Naw I ain't going in my house. I told y'all she was suicidal,” Velasquez says.
”The way the doctor explained to me, she had the safety belt wrapped around her neck too long,” Velasquez explains, and the belt cut off oxygen to her brain. Velasquez says this happened in the back seat of a patrol SUV while a deputy sat in the front seat, and it happened in front of their 11-year-old son.
”Come on that little boy wants you Veta. Come on Veta that little boy wants you,” Velasquez cries on the video.
”My son was looking out the window right here. He seen everything.” The 11-year-old hasn’t been to school since and sleeps most of the day, according to Velasquez. “He doesn’t want to talk about it. The only thing he told me about it, he said 'daddy the police killed my mom.'”
So why didn't deputies take Miller to the hospital? One deputy is heard on Velasquez’s recording saying “I tried to take her to the hospital, but my boss told me not to do it.”
The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office confirms the incident and spoke with FOX 26 on Friday. However, when we asked about claims that a supervisor told deputies not to take Miller to the hospital, we were told the sheriff's office will not make any more statements until after Texas Rangers complete their investigation.
Velasquez says he and his son said goodbye to his wife yesterday. He was told her organs will be donated soon and she’ll be taken off life support.