08/21/2013

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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