A convicted rapist with an anti-police tattoo attacked a deputy, brutally striking him in the face multiple times. However, karma would soon catch up to the sex offender in the most horrific way.
An investigation was launched after Eric Nelson, 46, died a violent death on the same day he was transferred to the South County Jail in Frostproof, Florida. The man’s sudden passing brought an end to his extensive criminal record, which included extreme drug abuse and sexual assault.
The Lakeland Police Department arrested Nelson as a suspect in a possible burglary at a Taco Bell on US Highway 98 North. Nelson, who sports a number of facial tattoos including one that reads “f—k cops,” was tracked down at a nearby Starbucks after fleeing on foot. Investigators say he had methamphetamine and syringes in his backpack, which he confessed to injecting, and that he was high at the time of his arrest, according to The Police Tribune.
Nelson, whose prior convictions include but are not limited to rape as well as battery on a law enforcement officer, was quickly taken into custody, WFTV reports. He was then transported to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office where he became combative, kicking his cell door and screaming obscenities at detention officers.
Jail staff noted that Nelson appeared to be under the influence of drugs and that he also hurled violent threats at both staff members and fellow inmates. Because of his behavior, he was transferred to South County Jail and placed in the medical dorm on suicide watch. This move would seal his fate.
When Nelson arrived, deputies ordered him to change out of his civilian clothing and get into his inmate smock. Without warning, Nelson allegedly punched a deputy in the face twice before kicking, biting, and hitting several other deputies as they struggled to restrain him. Other deputies joined the scuffle and sprayed a chemical deterrent. However, this had no effect on Nelson, who continued to fight the deputies with “strength greater than a normal person” due to his extensive drug use. After several minutes, deputies managed to place Nelson in shackles and handcuffs, despite his efforts. They then carried him to a private cell and placed him on the ground.
As they began to remove his restraints, deputies say they noticed Nelson wasn’t breathing and was turning blue. Jail medical staff were called in and immediately performed CPR. He was then rushed to a local hospital but was pronounced dead. His death concludes an extensive criminal career, which includes rape, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, drug possession, grand theft, fugitive from justice, and failure of a sex offender to report name or residence change.
Over the course of his life, Eric Nelson earned 12 felony convictions for everything from sexual assault to intent to sell heroin, to dealing in stolen property. At best, he was no less than a public nuisance, and at worst, he was a dangerous criminal terrorizing the community.
His life of crime and illegal drugs was a ticking time bomb set to detonate at any moment. It’s no surprise that Nelson’s life ended so violently and suddenly. A life of serious crimes and illegal substances is a perfect recipe for hardship and ultimate tragedy.