Man, 48, dies after 911 call for erratic behavior

by Jim Boyle

A 48-year-old Elk River man, who collapsed in front of police while they were trying to apprehend him and discern what was causing him to act erratically, has died.

Elk River police were called to the 500 block of Jefferson Lane at about 12:30 p.m., Feb. 13 on a report of a man acting suspiciously, according to Elk River Police Capt. Bob Kluntz.

While en route to the call, dispatch alerted the officers the man had been lying face down in the grass of the boulevard near the intersection of Freeport Avenue and Jefferson Lane.

When police arrived they found the man jumping around and kicking, Kluntz said. Officers addressed the individual, but their attempts didn’t seem to register with the man, Kluntz said.

Witnesses began to gather at the scene of this man’s odd behavior. Kluntz said police watched the man go down to the ground on his own.  At least one person said they thought he walked into a tree.

Officers moved in to handcuff the man.

“They wanted to get him under control and figure out what was going on with him,” Kluntz said.

There was a struggle, but not because the man was trying to attack the officers. It was quite the opposite. He was trying to keep his arms underneath his body, Kluntz said, noting that police did not have to use a Taser or strike the individual to get the cuffs on him.

By this time it had become apparent the man was having a medical issue and appeared to go into cardiac arrest, so police put in a call for an ambulance. They began to administer first aid, including CPR, to the man.

Paramedics continued CPR once they got him in an ambulance and on the way to the hospital. Kluntz said paramedics did get a pulse and admitted the man to Mercy Hospital.

He later died at Mercy  late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, Kluntz said.

The Anoka County Medical Examiner is performing an autopsy this week. Preliminary results are expected soon, but the final results could take weeks, Kluntz said.

Police interviewed about a half-dozen witnesses at the scene and are now awaiting the results of the autopsy.