Cornelius, Ore. man dies while police try to arrest him

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by Keely Chalmers and Teresa Blackman, KGW Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on April 11, 2010 at 12:26 PM

CORNELIUS, Ore. -- A partially naked man died in police custody in Washington County early Saturday after allegedly trying to break into a Cornelius home and terrifying residents.

Cornelius police say they responded to an emergency call from a resident who confronted the man in his back yard early Saturday.

Pat Zumwalt told KGW the stranger was in their backyard and trying to force his way into their home.

"He climbed up on the table and picked up this chair and had it up over his head and he was going to put it through the door," Zumwalt said.

Police arrived quickly and one officer used his Taser on the man but it appeared to have no effect, Zumwalt said. The suspect resisted the officer and they struggled down the street until two more Forest Grove officers arrived and joined in trying to subdue the man with a stun gun and pepper spray.

The man continued to resist, and then stopped breathing. Medics were unable to revive him.

An autopsy and toxicology test will be performed.

The Washington County Inter-Agency Major Crimes The Washington County Inter-Agency Major Crimes Team is investigating the death.

Neighbors told KGW they were appreciative of the officers' quick response and the way they protected their families. 

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