Woodland police say a man died in handcuffs after struggling with officers and being hit with a stun gun Wednesday.
Shortly after noon, officers responded to the 1100 block of Matmor Road for a report of a man wearing a trench coat over a towel and exposing himself to people in an apartment complex, according to a police news release. A witness said the man was carrying a pair of scissors and a chef’s knife, the news release said.
As officers responded, another caller told a dispatcher that the man was nearby in the 1300 block of Coolidge Place “with a large knife in his pocket and was now carrying a golf club” and trying to break into cars, police said.
A third witness told dispatch that the man had move on to Garfield Place.
Officers found the man “acting erratically and swinging the golf club around,” the police department news release said. “Officers on scene repeatedly told the subject to put the golf club down and attempted to negotiate with him. The subject charged at and assaulted officers causing injury to one officer,” it said.
“Officers used a Taser to gain control of the subject. The subject was handcuffed and soon after officers discovered the subject was not breathing and began CPR, as well as calling for emergency medical assistance.”
He was pronounced dead at Woodland Memorial Hospital.
The Yolo County Coroner will release the man’s name after notifying next of kin, police said. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.
“The subject does have a violent criminal past with the City of Woodland,” the news release said.
Several officers involved in the incident had been trained in crisis intervention, it said.
Woodland police stepped up their mental-health crisis training after the 2008 in-custody death of Ricardo Abrahams.
Abrahams, 44, a law student and intern at the Yolo County District Attorney’s office, was in the midst of a mental breakdown when he walked away from a voluntary treatment center in Woodland.
Police were called to perform a welfare check, but when Abrahams was uncooperative and walked away from them, officers hit him repeatedly with batons and stun guns and handcuffed him on the ground. One witness said Woodland police officers “dog-piled” the man, the Yolo County Coroner’s Office reported.
The coroner said Abrahams died of “positional asphyxia.”
Official probes cleared police of wrongdoing. The city of Woodland eventually settled his family’s lawsuit for $300,000.
Wednesday’s incident will be investigated by the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, and the sheriff’s findings will be submitted to the Yolo County District Attorney’s office, police said.
The Woodland Police Department requests anyone with information about this incident to call the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office 24 hour business number at 530-666-8282.