Ruttlen told her to "get off the floor and onto a chair," the police report said. Two officers and a different nurse helped her back to the wheelchair and brought her close to the reception counter, where a staff member asked her to remain seated.
The officers left and Rodriguez again pitched forward onto the floor, apparently unable to get up, according to people who saw the videotape and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Because the tape does not have sound, it is not possible to determine whether Rodriguez was screaming or what she was saying, the viewers said. Because of the camera's angle, in most scenes, she is but a grainy blob, sometimes obstructed, moving around on the floor.
When Rodriguez's boyfriend, Jose Prado, returned to the hospital after an errand and saw her on the floor, he alerted nurses and then called 911.
According to Sheriff's Capt. Ray Peavy, the dispatcher said, "Look, sir, it indicates you're already in a hospital setting. We cannot send emergency equipment out there to take you to a hospital you're already at."
Prado then knocked on the door of the county police, near the emergency room, and said, "My girlfriend needs help and they don't want to help her," according to the police report. A sergeant told him to consult the medical staff, the report said. Minutes later, Prado came back to the sergeant and said, "They don't want to help her." Again, he was told to see the medical staff.
Within minutes, police began taking Rodriguez into custody. When they told Prado that there was a warrant for Rodriguez's arrest, he asked if she would get medical care wherever she was taken. They assured him that she would. He then kissed her and left, the police report said.
She was wheeled to the patrol vehicle and the door was opened so that she could get into the back. When officers asked her to get up, she did not respond. An officer tried to revive her with an ammonia inhalant, then checked for a pulse and found none. She died in the emergency room after resuscitation efforts failed.
According to preliminary coroner's findings, the cause was a perforated large bowel, which caused an infection. Experts say the condition can bring about death fairly suddenly.
Hours after her death, county Department of Health Services spokesman Michael Wilson sent a note informing county supervisors' offices about the incident but saying that that police had been called because Rodriguez's boyfriend became disruptive.
Health services Director Dr. Bruce Chernof said Friday that subsequent information showed Prado was not, in fact, disruptive. Chernof otherwise refused to comment, citing the open investigation, patient privacy and "other issues."
Peavy, who supervises the sheriff's homicide unit, said that although his investigation is not complete, "the county police did absolutely, absolutely nothing wrong as far as we're concerned."
The coroner's office may relay its final findings to the district attorney's office for consideration of criminal charges against hospital staff members, Peavy said.
"I can't speak for the coroner and I can't speak for the D.A., but that is certainly a possibility," he added.
Marcela Sanchez, Rodriguez's sister, said she has been making tamales and selling them to raise money for her sister's funeral and burial. Her family has been called by attorneys seeking to represent them, but they do not know whom to trust.
She said the latest revelations, which she learned from The Times, are very troubling.
"Wow," she said. "If she was on the floor for that long, how in the heck did nobody help her then?
"Where was their heart? Where was their humanity? ... When Jose came in, everybody was just sitting, looking. Where were they?"
Sanchez said her sister was a giving person who always took an interest in people in need, unlike those who watched her suffer. "She would have taken her shoes to give to somebody with no shoes," she said. Rodriguez, a California native, performed odd jobs and lived alternately with different relatives.