Berserk Man Dies After Fight With Cops Inside Diner; Tased Four Times

Categories: Crime Blotter

A fight Sunday night in a Phoenix diner between police officers and a berserk man on a destructive rampage ended when the man fell ill and died after he was tased four times.

Police haven't yet released the name of the 38-year-old white man, pending notification of his family.

See also:
-The Taser: Almost Never a Lethal Weapon
-Tempe Cop Accidentally Hits 14-Year-Old Girl With Taser Probe

The incident began about 10 p.m. at Freddy's Steak Burgers, 4929 West Bell Road, where eight employees were finishing up their work day. The man had been seen earlier in the parking lot of the restaurant "acting strange and mumbling to himself," police said. It's unclear whether he ever bought a meal.

He entered the restroom, "barricaded" himself in, and managed to flood the floor. Then he came out and began "tearing the place apart," says Phoenix Officer James Holmes.

The man battered the counter area with a plastic "wet floor" sign. When he tried to get behind the counter, though, one brave employee threatened him with a knife.

Two officers who showed up started fighting with the man after he ignored their commands. They were hit "numerous times" and both shot him with their tasers twice, Holmes says.

Suddenly, the man went into "medical distress." He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The two officers were left with cuts and bruises, and one had a sprained back and shoulder.

Holmes says it's too early to tell what caused the man's death, but that an investigation is pending.

In a 2007 article by former New Times writer Paul Rubin, Phoenix police credited electric stun guns with reducing injuries to suspects and officers. But an accompanying article revealed the dark side of the "less-lethal" weapon, focusing on the death of a suspect who'd been stunned continuously for 84 seconds by officer Charles Anderson III.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Ray Stern on Twitter at @RayStern.

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Mike Cline
Mike Cline

Ever listen to a police scanner? Wow! People really are morons...seems like cops are paid babysitters, I can easily see why they do what they do.

James Patrick Harris
James Patrick Harris

'Says the cops'? Pure ignorance, @Tyburn. Watch the goddamn video. The cops would've been fully justified gunning him down right in the lobby, yet they did not.

Tyburn Gallows
Tyburn Gallows

Says the cops. Nevertheless, the cops did kill again. Second taser-related death in a couple days.

Christine Nimitz
Christine Nimitz

Sorry, but in this case, for a change, they did nothing wrong. The man was completely out of his mind on who knows what drugs.

Shelley Rayford
Shelley Rayford

In this situation the officers showed a lot of restraint. The man clearly was either on some drugs or had a mental illness issue, either way, the police were justified in using the stun gun. He should have surrendered earlier and he may still be alive

Bob Downs
Bob Downs

I wouldn't go berserk like this guy but trying to order from the Freddy's people in the San Tan Valley location can drive a person nuts.

James Patrick Harris
James Patrick Harris

@Danielle: I was looking for the link, but can't find it now. It was in my feed about 4 hours ago but I don't recall what FB page it was linked from.

Dave Demlong
Dave Demlong

It sounds like he was more than likely on some sort of drug, and died from excited delirium following the incident.

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

Better watch your tongue Bobby, Mike Manning won't be fooled by the new name

And they had every right to do what they did. Don't go beserk and fight the police and they won't taze or shoot you. You moron!

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