MESA, AZ - A man accused of punching two Mesa police officers spoke out in a jailhouse interview appearing confused and uncertain about what happened.
Mantangi Tai said he did not remember much about a fight with police last week outside a Mesa Circle K.
Police said Tai resisted arrest and punched officers when they tried to take him into custody.
During an interview Wednesday, not only did Tai have trouble recalling anything about the fight, but despite wearing handcuffs and a jail jumpsuit, he said he wasn’t aware he was in jail.
“I'm not in jail. Am I in jail right now?” asked Tai.
Clinical psychologist Erin Nelson watched the interview and thinks Tai could be suffering from a mental illness caused by a brain disorder, drugs, or a head injury.
“When you see that sort of delay and distraction, one of the things you would start to hypotheses is - is there something else going on internally? Is he hearing voices, or having a visual hallucination that his attention is focused on at least for the interim?” said Nelson.
Nelson says Tai’s apparent mental condition could be what led to this fight in the first place. Tai may have had a hard time understanding police who had to react to the situation not knowing anything about Tai.
“Certainly, a delay in response by somebody who is being given commands - that could start a path that leads to trouble,” said Nelson.
When he was booked into jail, a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said doctors evaluated Tai and determined he did not need to be in a psych unit.
Instead, he’s being held in the general population but kept alone in a jail cell and only allowed out one hour a day, partly because of his condition.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
We’ve turned a corner! The weather is warming up so it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy some fantastic weather.
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
The residents said they smelled smoke and saw fire in the back of the house. They got everyone out before firefighters arrived.
The next storm system to move into Arizona is upon us, bringing chances for rain and snow. Find out when you could start to see the precipitation.
Your odds of getting all six numbers correct for the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot are about 1 in 259 million.
When a single mom was assaulted inside her Michigan home earlier this week, she began preaching the Bible to her attacker and telling him, "God loves you, you don't want to do this."
A fire official said a man was grinding down a metal screw in a shop area where gun powder was stored and the gunpowder flashed, starting the fire.
Federal bus safety regulators announced that they have shut down 52 companies, including two in Arizona, in what they describe as a major nationwide crackdown on unsafe carriers.