Emotionally disturbed man dies after being tased by police on Long Island

INWOOD, Nassau County (WABC) -- An investigation is underway on Long Island, where police officers responding to a report of a disturbance at a home early Saturday used stun guns to try to subdue a man they discovered naked and covered in blood inside his apartment.

He stopped breathing and later died, officials said.

An eerie 911 call in the middle of the night brought Nassau County Police to the home on Doughty Boulevard where they discovered an intoxicated man threatening the people living inside.

"This male was naked, was covered with blood, was destroying articles in the basement and other individuals in the basement were also in fear," said Nassau County Police Detective Lieutenant Richard LeBrun.

Police say 36-year-old Walter Perez was out of control throwing items, screaming, and ignoring their commands. He also allegedly made several verbal threats and at one point grabbed a dangerous instrument..

"They tried many times to deescalate the situation. They gave verbal commands to do so," said LeBrun.

Perez also got into a struggle with a pair of officers who each deployed their tasers but they say the charge had no noticeable impact.

With the help of backup Perez was finally handcuffed but a short time later he was observed not breathing. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:25 a.m.

A friend of Perez who didn't want his face shown is now questioning if police could have handled the situation differently.

"I don't know how many police was there if it was two you don't need that kind of stuff," he said.

The medical examiner will now determine the official cause of death. The DA's office is also now involved in the investigation.

"All of our officers receive extensive training with regard to handling emotionally disturbed persons. With that said, de-escalation in the primary goal ," said LeBrun..
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