KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Neighbors called police after they saw a naked man running through their neighborhood last weekend. Kansas City police officers arrived. They tased the suspect, who later died. He’s been identified as 38-year-old Eugene Williams.
FOX 4’s Melissa Stern spoke with a woman who witnessed what happened.
“I was basically being nosy and I pulled up and I saw a man drop,” Lela Shaw, witness, said.
Shaw said she was driving down Cleveland when she saw police.
“My next door neighbor saw him laying in the street,” said Anthony Smith, the man Williams considered his father figure. “I thought he was talking fast, he was talking too fast, and laughing at the same time, and sweat was dripping off of his face.”
According to the police report, around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, people called police to report a naked man running around jumping in front of cars. Police believe he was high on PCP.
“They tased him, and if they tase somebody like that who has an asthma problem, they could die from that,” Smith said.
Police said Williams approached the officer who then tased Williams. William was handcuffed and EMS was called. EMS told police that Williams did not have a pulse and started CPR.
“Yeah, I think it could have been avoided, I don’t think they should have tased him because you never know if someone has heart problems or they’re mentally ill.”
Smith says Eugene has asthma among other medical problems. He was taken to the hospital and died later that night.
“If he was naked why would you take a taser out and tase somebody?” Smith said. “I think that’s stupid.”
“Just kind of in shock,” adds Shaw.
“Policeman don’t get a lot of things right, and they’re so quick to pull the trigger on different things, but all they need to do is say something,” Smith says.
Police say the officer involved responded according to protocol.
This case is still under investigation.