NYPD IDs Bronx man who died after police used Taser on him

An emotionally disturbed man who menaced officers with a glass bottle has died after police used a Taser on him, the NYPD said.

Police responded to a call just after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday of an emotionally disturbed person, identified as Ariel Galarza, 49, on 1840 Mayflower Avenue in the Bronx neighborhood of Pelham Bay. There, a neighbor told officers that he had been threatened with a knife and directed police to a basement, where they encountered Galarza.

The man menaced three officers and a sergeant with a glass bottle, at which point the sergeant deployed his stun gun and Galarza fell to the ground, according to the NYPD. When Galarza resisted arrest, the Taser was deployed a second time, police said.

After he was cuffed, Galarza went into cardiac arrest, police said. Police personnel administered CPR at the scene, and he was then taken to Jack Weiler Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he was pronounced dead just before 7:30 p.m.

The medical examiner’s office will determine the cause of death, and the Force Investigation Division is investigating the incident.

The incident comes just weeks after Deborah Danner, a 66-year-old Bronx woman who was known to have mental health issues, attempted to strike NYPD Sgt. Hugh Barry with a baseball bat. Barry fired his gun at Danner and she later died. 

Following the incident, Commissioner James O’Neill said the NYPD had failed to follow proper protocol during the incident, and it was being investigated why Barry had not used his Taser instead of his gun. 

Sergeants Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins said Thursday that the two incidents are very similar. While the less-lethal force was used in the situation Wednesday night, both individuals ultimately died. He said the common denominator was “the threat to a police officer’s safety.”

“If the commissioner feels that we failed, why did we fail again with the same policies?” Mullins said.

The commissioner has not made a public statement about the most recent incident. 


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