According to a press release from Elmira Police Chief Joseph Kane, an investigation has been opened into an incident involving the Elmira Police Department and an Elmira man who was taken into custody late last week.
Kane says that on August 22, officers responded to a residence on Horner St. in the City of Elmira for a report of an emotionally disturbed person. Officers arrived and observed a man on the roof of his two story home. Witnesses and neighbors informed police that the male’s behavior was alarming, unusual and abnormal.
Officers negotiated with the man and he eventually left the roof and went inside his residence. A short time later, he appeared at the front door, still acting unusual, and suddenly began chasing a female neighbor while yelling abnormal statements. Officers intervened and attempted to take him into custody under Mental Hygiene Law in order to transport him to a hospital for treatment, as he was clearly a danger to himself and/or others. An officer advised the man to place his hands behind his back and the man struck the officer in the face. A physical struggle ensued and during this struggle,an Elmira police officer deployed a Taser and the man fell to the ground. He continued to fight with officers and the physical struggle continued. Officers were eventually able to take him into custody.
The man, who police have not identified, made statements that he had ingested DXM (Dextromethorphan) cough syrup. He was evaluated by emergency medical personnel on scene, and was subsequently transported to a local hospital by Elmira police for treatment. During this transport, the male continued to make unusual and irrational statements.
According to Chief Kane, while receiving initial treatment at the hospital, the man was somewhat cooperative. However his behavior suddenly changed and he physically attacked an Elmira police officer. Officers had to again physically struggle with the male, who continued to fight with officers. During this struggle, the male suddenly became limp and unresponsive. The man received medical treatment and was transported to another hospital.
The Elmira Police Department contacted both the Chemung County District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Police. Elmira Police Chief Kane requested the New York State Police initiate an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the male’s behavior, interaction with Elmira police, and the factors contributing to or causing the male’s medical condition.
Kane says the department will remain transparent and will fully cooperate with the New York State Police, and any other agency having jurisdiction over this incident. At this time, the Elmira Police Department will not comment further on the incident or the investigation.