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5 San Jose Officers on Leave After Man Dies in Tussle

Times Staff Writer

Five San Jose police officers have been placed on leave while the Police Department investigates the death of a man who was shot with a Taser stun gun, pepper-sprayed and struck with a baton during a struggle with police.

Police said the incident began Monday morning when the man kicked in the door of a condominium. The resident did not know the man and chased him to a convenience store, where the two men, whose identities were being withheld, fought.

By all accounts, it was a prolonged and violent struggle both inside and outside the store, police said.

Officers arrived at the store at 4:08 a.m. and separated the men. While officers were investigating the incident, the man ran away, police said.

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Two officers chased him and were joined by three others as they tried to stop him from climbing a fence back into the condominium complex, Sgt. Nick Muyo said Tuesday.

During the struggle, officers shot him with the Taser, used pepper spray and hit him with the baton.

As officers tried to snare him in a wrap-like nylon device used to immobilize suspects, the man became unconscious, police said.

Officers performed CPR and called for paramedics. He was rushed by ambulance to a San Jose hospital, where he later died, police said.

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Muyo said an autopsy would be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Placing the officers on weeklong leave is standard procedure when someone dies in custody, Muyo said.

“They were involved in a violent struggle and fight,” said Muyo, adding that in such instances the department helps its officers with counseling and time off to regroup. “These officers need time to recover, and we want to make sure they return to duty physically and mentally ready to serve the people of San Jose.”


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