An Arizona man is dead following a violent altercation with Phoenix law enforcement officials Sunday night.
Edward Michael Caruth, 38, reportedly barricaded himself in a bathroom at a Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in West Valley, Ariz., clogging the sinks, turning on the faucets and flooding restroom.
One of the restaurant’s employees called 911 and reported Caruth’s frightening and erratic behavior.
“He indicated to 911 that this suspect had been in the business for quite a while, was scaring the employees,” Officer James Holmes with the Phoenix Police Dept. said, according to KTVK-TV. “He had gone into a restroom, barricaded himself in the restroom and then turned on the water faucets causing the restrooms to flood.”
Caruth eventually emerged from the flooded bathroom and proceeded to harass and scare the restaurant’s eight employees.
“At one point he attempted to get back behind the counter and into the kitchen area of the restaurant but an employee that had been behind the counter actually grabbed a kitchen knife and threatened him with it and told him to stay back and the suspect did,” said Officer Holmes.
Two officers were dispatched to the scene and tried to coax Caruth out of the restaurant.
“The only thing that the suspect would comply with was to get down on his knees. He wouldn’t put his hands behind his back,” Holmes said.
When they tried to take Caruth into custody, things turned violent.
“At that point he became physically resistant with the officers to the point where they were in a physical battle, if you will, for three, four, five minutes trying to get this guy into custody,” Holmes said.
Caruth apparently lost his cool, lashed out at the two officers and was soon pinned to the ground, one officer trying to handcuff him.
But Caruth managed to get back to his feet and became even more violent, swinging wildly at the officers. Caruth was Tased at least four times before taking the fight into the restaurant’s parking lot. The Tasers had no effect.
Two additional officers eventually arrived on the scene and only then was Caruth restrained and taken into custody. However, officers noticed the Arizona man was showing signs of distress. Caruth was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital where he died.
“We don’t know what caused his behavior,” said Holmes. “In these cases we suspect that there may be prescription drugs or illegal drugs. We won’t know that until there’s an autopsy.”
Footage of the fight was captured by a restaurant employees and uploaded to YouTube [content warning: the following contains strong language]:
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