Combative suspect dies after tased by police

Thornton Police say an unusually violent narcotics suspect died in their custody overnight. Investigators told us he suffered some kind of medical episode immediately after officers tased him.

THORNTON - A man who ran from police and attacked several officers has died after a Taser was used to stop him.

Thornton Police say officers were called to the Western Convenience Store near Thornton Parkway and Huron Street just before 11 p.m. Thursday for a possible narcotics transaction involving two pick-up trucks.

A white truck fled before officers arrived. Police tried to talk to a person in a black pick-up truck when the driver got out and ran across Huron Street.

A Thornton officer chased the suspect to a nearby medical office parking lot. Officials say that’s when the suspect physically attacked the officer. The suspect remained combative as other officers came to help.

"This was a very violent encounter between the suspect and the officer," said Matt Barnes with Thornton Police, "the officer held his own until other officers could arrive there."

A Federal Heights officer used his stun gun and the man was taken into custody and immediately experienced a medical episode, according to police.

Barnes said the suspect began breathing heavily and eventually stopped breathing. Officers asked for medical assistance and started performing CPR. The man was taken to the hospital and was pronounced dead just after 12:30 a.m. Friday.

The two Thornton police officers and one Federal Heights police officer suffered minor injuries and were released from the hospital later Friday morning.

Police say a substantial amount of drugs and cash were recovered at the scene but did not disclose the kind of drug or amount of money.

"We're looking into whether this person has been identified in the past as being involved with possible narcotics," Barnes said.

The man’s identity has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

An official cause of death will be determined by the Adams County Coroner’s Office.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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