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Man Who Struggled With Phoenix Police Dies After Taser Use

2nd fatality involving stun gun in Valley in 3 days

Aug 8, 2005 | Arizona Republic
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A 47-year-old man died after struggling with three Phoenix police officers, who said they had to use Taser stun guns to subdue him. He is the second person to die from Taser use in the Valley this weekend after a confrontation with authorities.

Officers were called to the Tacos Jalisco at Seventh Street and Mountainview in north Phoenix Sunday night after the suspect had vandalized two restrooms.

Employees told police the man appeared to be crazed and that he was locked in a bathroom stall, said Sgt. Randy Force. Employees said they had seen him hitting the window of a nearby business with a metal rod before entering the restaurant.

The man was extremely combative when three officers attempted to take him into custody, Force said. They used Taser stun guns on him as they tried to subdue him in the fight, which lasted at least five minutes.

When the officers and the suspect got outside, the officers said they noticed that the suspect's breathing had slowed. Paramedics were called and the man was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died a short time later.

The officers involved in the incident were identified as Alison Ribar, Adam Gjelhaug and Andrew Tullberg. All were placed on standard administrative leave, Force said.

In the first incident, a 38-year-old man, accused of resisting arrest, died Friday night at a west Phoenix hospital after police used a Taser electronic stun gun to take him into custody, officers said.

Olsen Ogodidde went into a seizure after he arrived at Maryvale Hospital Medical Center and emergency-room doctors were unable to save his life, said Officer Mike Peña, a Glendale police spokesman.

An autopsy will be needed to determine the cause of death, Peña said.

In the meantime, two officers, whom he declined to identify, have been placed on administrative leave, a standard move, pending the outcome of an internal investigation, Peña added.

Earlier, Ogoddide was found near 59th Avenue and Bethany Home Road sleeping on the back seat of somebody else's vehicle, Peña said.

He struggled with officers who tried to remove him% from the car and was stunned twice with a Taser before he was taken into custody, Peña said.

“Officers immediately recognized that the suspect appeared to be under the influence of some type of impairing substance,” Peña said Saturday.

Ogodidde was alert but would not communicate with officers, he said. He was placed on a gurney and was treated by paramedics on the way to the hospital.
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