A man died early last Friday morning while in police custody after being tasered.
After responding at approximately 7:15 p.m. on Dec. 12 to a domestic disturbance call at a home on the 12800 of S. Morgan Street., 5th Dist. Chicago police officers allegedly found that Philip Coleman, 38, battered his 69-year-old mother who sustained injuries to her head and leg for which she received treatment at an area hospital.
Allegedly, Coleman was first tasered as police officers tried to take him into custody at his mother’s south side home where he spat blood at two officers. He was then tasered a second time after he was transported to Roseland Community Hospital where police say he became physically aggressive with hospital staff and the police officers who accompanied him there.
While at Roseland Community Hospital, Coleman was given a sedative and later died.
According to reports by the Chicago Tribune, neighbors described Coleman’s behavior as erratic before his death.
“He was talking crazy,” said Dana Robinson, who knew Philip O. Coleman for several years and had considered him a friendly and “normal” neighbor in the 12800 block of South Morgan Street. “I know this guy, but I don’t know what (was) going on with him.”
Robinson said Coleman ran in and out of Robinson’s garage before he was arrested Wednesday, smashing groceries and threatening his wife.
Robinson, whose, garage abuts an alley behind the Coleman family home, said he first heard a man yelling in the alley as he and his wife stood in the garage. Coleman then began darting in and out of their garage while shouting nonsensical phrases.
At one point, Robinson said Coleman grabbed at his wife’s arm and said, “Come here.” Robinson said that his wife was frightened but was not hurt.
Coleman also smashed a small can of tomato paste on Robinson’s garage floor. The splatter was still visible Friday. When Robinson tried to shut his neighbor out of the garage, Coleman rolled underneath the door just before it shut.
Eventually, Robinson said, Coleman spotted his father, (Percy Coleman), and tried to flee over a chain-link fence, but cut his hands on the barbed wire and turned back.
When Robinson and his wife tried to drive away a few minutes later, they, according to the Tribune story, saw Coleman running toward four police officers on nearby South Morgan Street, his bloody palms raised. Not wanting to be present if the confrontation escalated, Robinson said he and his wife backed down the street and drove away.
Percy Coleman is said that his son has never been in trouble and that he is a University of Chicago graduate.
Police had no further comment and but that the matter is under investigation.
By Deborah Bayliss