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August 21, 2013
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Ariz. police questioned after man dies in custody

Bystanders believe the man was not resisting before he was TASERed then cuffed and brought down the stairs

By PoliceOne Staff

PHOENIX — Police arrived at an apartment complex to help a man off a roof who later died in custody, prompting an investigation into the officers’ tactics. 

Video taken by witnesses show 44-year-old Michael Angel Ruiz on the roof of his apartment building and police trying to talk the man down. Police then used a TASER to subdue him, according to ABC15.

Ruiz jumped down from the roof and was quickly surrounded by police — who carried him down the stairs in handcuffs. Video shows his unsupported head hitting the stairs repeatedly on the way down.

Ruiz’s father, Richard Erickson , told KPHO that an EMS report stated his son was TASERed five times and needed to be resuscitated.

Erickson, a former detective, took his son off life support August 2, five days after the incident, according to the KPHO report.

He has hired a lawyer and wants the officers involved fired, saying, “I'd never seen anything like this before, even when I was with the police department."

Phoenix police are investigating the incident.

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