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Man who died after police Tasered him was mentally ill, mom says

November 16, 2011 |  9:13 am

A 29-year-old San Bernardino man who died after being Tasered and pepper sprayed by police officers attempting to take him into custody outside a board-and-care facility was mentally ill, his mother said.

Police responded to a disturbance call in the 1100 block of East 26th Street just after 9 a.m. Tuesday. Jonathan White was allegedly yelling and threatening residents, San Bernardino Police Lt. Gwendolyn Waters said.

His mother, Janice White, told KTLA her son suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

"He just went crazy on me," she said. "I had to call the police. He started going off and throwing things and he took off his clothes and everything and was just yelling at nobody. He was just standing there yelling for no reason."

She told dispatchers it would take several officers to control her son.

When officers attempted to take White into custody, he resisted, police said. Officers then used a Taser and pepper spray to control White, without success, and struggled with him until more officers arrived to assist, police said.

Paramedics were evaluating White at the scene when he stopped breathing. He was taken to St. Bernardine Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just after 10 a.m. A coroner's investigation will determine the cause of death.

The woman told the station that officers never struck her son.


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