Local News

Man tased at South Hill gym brain dead

SPOKANE, Wash. - OZ Fitness folo Friday

Doctors have declared a man who went on a rampage at a South Hill gym Thursday night and later fought with sheriff's deputies brain dead.

The incident happened just before 7 p.m. at Oz Fitness at 55th and Regal on the South Hill.

The man, who people knew as "Will" at the gym had just purchased his first home earlier in the day and according to real estate agents and he was a very polite, ambitious person. However witnesses inside the gym described the young man as out of control.

"I was thinking he was probably on drugs or steroids or something. He had a Sacred Heart bracelet from the hospital," witness Jesse Soto said.

Soto said the gym was packed with members doing their workouts when "Will" suddenly started screaming at inanimate objects.

"He almost broke the water fountain and he like knocked out the towel dispenser," Soto said.

When managers confronted Will about his bizarre behavior he threatened to kill them.

"He just started mumbling and saying racist slurs and then he started throwing the weights and he was just cussing and yelling," Soto said.

The staff managed to push Will, who was foaming at the mouth, out into the parking lot.

"He stopped traffic for a while. He was out in the street, cars, you know, are stopping. He was like, it don't know what he was doing in the street. Three guys went across the street to chase him down and then the cops came," Soto said.

When Spokane County Sheriff's deputies arrived gym members saw Will pounding on the hood of a patrol car. Witnesses say Will fought with officers and when they tased him he managed to pull out the probes.

The amount of electricity in a taser is less than one joules. In comparison, the amount of electricity paramedics use to defibrillate your heart is about 300 joules. In the case of the taser if you're fighting with someone and then get tasered it  can lead to highly elevated temperatures and heartbeats.

After being tased Will collapsed and the deputies he had been fighting with moments before gave him CPR. Paramedics were able to revive him but will never regained consciousness.

Earlier in the day will had been signing the closing paperwork so he could purchase a home at Thurston and Arthur and was one of three buyers who made the same offer but the sellers went with Will because he seemed like such a nice guy.

Last week, however, Spokane police were called to his location when he was also behaving strangely and now investigators are hoping toxicology tests and eventually an autopsy will tell them what was going on in his mind and body.

The two deputies who fought with Will in the street and parking lot had to be treated for their injuries at the hospital. The sheriff's office said it can't report on what happened at the scene until more of the witnesses of the incident are interviewed.

Because of the seriousness of the incident, Washington State Patrol is now leading the investigation.