Suspect’s Heart Stopped Saturday While Resisting Arrest, Says EPD

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EPD Officers restrain suspect. [Photo by Robert Taylor]

On Saturday, the heart of a suspect fighting with Eureka Police stopped beating. Emergency Medical Services had to perform CPR for over two minutes, according to Captain Brian Stephens.

Stephens said his officers initially responded to a report of a “suspicious person” sitting on Highland Avenue late Saturday morning. When the officer arrived on the scene, the man appeared to be “under the influence of an illegal substance,” Stephens explained. “The man cooperated initially” but when the officers began arresting him “that’s when he began resisting.”

The officers struggled to control the man. He resisted arrest for some time and injured at least one officer by wrenching her fingers and “spraining a finger,” Stephens explained. Other officers rushed to the site and passerbys offered to help contain the man.

Eventually, emergency medical services arrived at the scene and prepared to give the man sedatives “for his erratic, aggressive behavior,” Stephens said. They noticed that the man had stopped breathing and began giving him CPR.  The man was rushed to the hospital. On the way there, “he regained heart rate and breathing,” Stephens said.

The man recovered quickly. According to Stephens, by the time the Captain arrived at the hospital 15 minutes later the man “was in full fight mode again.” He was again brought back under control and is currently at St. Joseph Hospital.

“We want to thank multiple citizens who stepped forward and asked our officers if they needed any assistance,” Stephens said.

Officers arrested Benjamin Taggart who Stephens said, “claimed to be from Willow Creek” for assault on an officer, assault causing injury, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Earlier Chapter: ‘Man Extremely Under the Influence’ Fought EPD

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11 comments

  • Yeah drugs are bad,and.they.will stop your heart.at least they helped him!

  • Wow, And As “Paul Harvey” would say…
    “an thats the rest of the story”

  • And have a good day

  • George Shieman

    Really have to consider all possibilities as to why his heart would stop.. Could have been his own condition or something caused by his behavior… but, also could have been caused by the way the situation was handled by law enforcement.. If you look at the half dozen or more photographs that came out in a first media article… you will see in photo and photo that he was lying with his body half on the sidewalk..and half on the street…with his middle body sections bent by the rather large curb..
    In that position with people pressuring him.. I was rather stunned that no one seemed to notice his body position on the curb.. The could have…should have either pulled him up completely onto the sidewalk..or pulled him completely into the street…
    It did not surprise me to see this article that is right here now… after seeing the day (or two?) older photographs.. I was feeling pain for this guy just seeing people piling onto him…and apparently, no one was cognizant enough of his possible condition… The Photos from the other day… really do or might tell the story..
    What I am saying.. is because his obvious possible trauma was not taken into consideration…
    the people who were all over him… “could” have been the cause of his death..if, in fact he had not been revived.. Eyes Wide Shut was the problem here…

    • When was the last time you wrangled with someone so high they are in ZERO control of their body and thought process?
      Heavy drugs are extremely dangerous to everyone in the vicinity of a person who has it in their system…and when that person become volatile, there is not room for caution!
      They may not have had to option to release any of their holds, because they had finally gotten him into a position he couldn’t harm anyone, including himself.
      Drug use at that level, elevates your heart rate to that of a person who doesn’t exercise and attempts to run a sprint race…

      • Yep, exactly. You can argue about good cops vs. bad cops and whether it’s justified all day long. The bottom line is that cops have a right to be safe whenever possible. The job is risky enough without some moron doing drugs and thrashing wildly around himself. I’m not a violent person, have never seen the need for it, and I don’t even harm insects when I can help it, but there is a limit to everything.

        I’m sick of seeing people who made a conscious choice (at some point anyway) to abuse their bodies with chemicals, rather than work through whatever shit they were facing, claiming they were badly done by when they started to be violent and then had to be restrained. And it’s not just the fact they might beat on a cop, or anyone, there is always the danger to be pricked by a needle, scratched, bitten and who knows what else. You don’t know what kind of health issues someone has? Anything from Hepatitis to HIV; who can tell?

        I’m so sick of society constantly blaming the wrong people for what’s going on. A kid is getting bad grades, it’s the school’s fault. When I grew up it was parents not doing their job. A low life, drug-abusing scumbag who is assaulting people is restrained. How dare the cops do that. It’s their fault the person acted out like that. Give me a break. It is also not a political viewpoint, it’s a matter of common sense. We have to start doing what we did in the past and OWN OUR OWN PROBLEMS, rather than blame society or anyone else. If I mess up, it’s my fault.

        If a cop tells you to do something, guilty or not, you do it. They want to be safe, and they have a right to be safe. If you haven’t done anything wrong, you can sort it out later.

  • George Shieman

    Really have to consider all possibilities as to why his heart would stop.. Could have been his own condition or something caused by his behavior… but, also could have been caused by the way the situation was handled by law enforcement.. If you look at the half dozen or more photographs that came out in a first media article… you will see in photo and photo that he was lying with his body half on the sidewalk..and half on the street…with his middle body sections bent by the rather large curb..
    In that position with people pressuring him.. I was rather stunned that no one seemed to notice his body position on the curb.. The could have…should have either pulled him up completely onto the sidewalk..or pulled him completely into the street…
    It did not surprise me to see this article that is right here now… after seeing the day (or two?) older photographs.. I was feeling pain for this guy just seeing people piling onto him…and apparently, no one was cognizant enough of his possible condition… The Photos from the other day… really do or might tell the story..
    What I am saying.. is because his obvious possible trauma was not taken into consideration…
    the people who were all over him… “could” have been the cause of his death..if, in fact he had not been revived.. Eyes Wide Shut was the problem here…

  • I can’t believe that a cop got a sprained finger, WTF that’s not even a real injury they just wanted something else to charge him with,typical EPD behavior

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