Man dies after being taken into custody in Phoenix

PHOENIX - A Valley man died shortly after a run-in with police. Now his dad, a former detective, wants answers.

Witnesses caught video of the whole incident. Police were trying to help Michael Angel Ruiz off the roof at his apartment complex near 23rd Avenue and Indian School Road -- and that's when witnesses say it goes downhill.

Video shows the 44-year-old man jumping from the roof and Phoenix police surrounding him. It looks like they put him in a choke hold and begin to drag him down the stairs.

The video also shows Michael's head hitting each step on the way down. Witnesses say they saw police use a stun gun on Michael several times while he was still on the roof.

His dad Richard Erickson tells ABC15 he had some drug issues, but was never violent and respected police.

"I just felt sick to my stomach," he said, referring to the video. "I'd never seen anything like this before, even when I was with the police department."

Michael's dad has hired an attorney and wants the officers involved fired.

"I don't want to see anyone else's son killed like this," he said.

Many of Michael's neighbors witnessed everything and recorded it all on their phones.

Gary Carthen was good friends with Michael, and witnessed it all.

"This was bad, very bad. Because he didn't deserve that to happen, not like that," he said.

Carthen and his neighbors want answers. Verna Young says you could hear his head banging on the stairs as police dragged him down.

"I started crying 'cause that's not right, to hurt nobody like that," she said. "He didn't deserve that. He was a nice person, very nice."

Phoenix police say they're investigating and can't comment right now as they look into this.

 

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