A man subdued by police at the Denver Zoo died after resisting arrest from officers who arrived at the scene.
Alonzo Ashley's girlfriend, Elaina, has accused the Denver Police department of using excessive force in Tuesday's Denver Zoo incident. The Police Department has recently faced much criticism for its use of force. Fox31 reports that Elaina is the sole witness in the investigation. Scroll down to watch a Fox31 interview with Elaina.
Denver Police used a Taser in "contact mode" on the man who died at the Denver Zoo but say it didn't work, according to the Denver Post. The man allegedly threatened his girlfriend and attacked zoo security before police arrived and were finally able to subdue him.
The man was found with drug paraphernalia, though it is not yet known what kind of drugs or how much.
Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said in a statement that the man convulsed and stopped breathing while police were awaiting the arrival of paramedics--who were originally called to investigate him for his "unusual behavior and extraordinary strength." The man was later pronounced dead at St. Luke's Hospital.
Officers were called around 5 p.m. to respond to what was then thought to be a possible domestic violence incident, Fox 31 reported, an hour before the zoo closed for the day. Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson told the Colorado Springs Gazette that the man resisted officers and zoo security guards, causing minor injuries that included bite marks and sprains. According to CBSDenver, one of the zoo's security guards was taken to the hospital for treatment, but the woman who was with the man was reportedly uninjured.
Near the elephant exhibit where the incident took place, the man stopped breathing and CPR was administered but he was pronounced dead at 6 p.m. according to the Denver Post. It is not known what methods officers and security used to subdue the man before he stopped breathing, and officials have yet to release the identity or age of the man.
It's unfortunate anytime you have to come to a place where families want to come and you have a situation where police have to be called, that's unfortunate for everybody involved, we don't want to come to a situation like this, and the zoo really doesn't want us to come here.
WATCH (Interview with Ashley's girlfriend, via Fox 31):