Neighbors of Ardmore man who died while in police custody speak out

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ARDMORE, OK -- Neighbors and friends of an Ardmore man who died while in police custody, tell us he suffered from medical conditions that may have played a role in his death.

"It's really tragic that he's no longer here."

"I showed up as soon as they took him into the police station, to the police car. I really didn't see anything I just heard about it."

Julie Weatherfore and Annica Harris say they're saddened by the death of their caring neighbor, 38-year-old Rondre Hornbeak.
They say Hornbeak struggled with mental illnesses and appeared to have been off his medications over the past few days.

"When he had a bad day, you would know it. I knew that he had some illnesses but that didn't stop me from being his friend because he was still a normal person to me," said Weatherfore.

They say Hornbeak's sister was always looking out for him, which is probably why she showed up at his apartment on Holiday Drive Friday night.

"She gave me her phone number in case I needed to call her on his behalf because I was helping her with, you know, by calling if I seen him, if he was acting out of the normal,"said Weatherfore.

OSBI says when Hornbeak's sister and brother-in-law showed up at his apartment Friday night, he opened the door, and began assaulting his sister.
Police say when they arrived, Hornbeak's hands were restrained with a belt.
They arrested him and placed him in a patrol car, but when they got to the jail, authorities say Hornbeak was unresponsive.
He was taken to Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"He was a nice man, very helpful, always asking if I needed some help, whether it be my trash being took out, or if I needed help carrying groceries in," said Weatherfore.

Ardmore police have declined to comment pending the ongoing investigation by OSBI, but Weatherfore and Harris say they hope Hornbeak's family can find answers, and peace.

"I did give her a hug and said my prayers were with her," said Harris.