Police Release Names Connected to Meriden Police-Involved Incident

Tuesday, Jun 11, 2013  |  Updated 1:11 PM EDT
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Police Release Names Connected to Meriden Police-Involved Incident

NBCConnecticut.com

Police are investigating after a man died following an altercation with police.

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State police have released the name of the local man who died after an altercation with Meriden police on Sunday, as well as the name of the officer involved in the incident.

The man who died has been identified as Noel Mendoza, 44. Officer Jeff Witkins has been identified as the officer who shot Mendoza with a Taser.

Meriden police said Mendoza drove into the gated back lot of the police department on Sunday night.  He was bleeding from the hands and acting erratically and irrationally.

Mendoza was despondent and paranoid, according to police.

He told officers that people he did not know were chasing him, trying to take his vehicle and also admitted to having smoked crack and swallowed cocaine earlier in the evening, according to police.

Police called for an ambulance.

As officers helped EMTs get Mendoza into the ambulance, he fought them.

He was flailing and yelling about forgiveness and how people were watching him, according to police.

When police handcuffed Mendoza, he spit saliva and blood at officers and EMTs and tried to bite them, police said.

Police said Witkins used a Taser on Mendoza to get him to stop fighting. Mendoza then grabbed the Taser and would not let go.

As he was being transported, Mendoza fought emergency workers in the ambulance and continued fighting while being placed into a hospital room, police said.

Some time after Mendoza arrived at the hospital, medical staff indicated that the he had died, according to police. The medical examiner will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of Mendoza's death.

The State Police Central District Major Crime Squad has been called in to investigate the incident.

State police originally called this a “use of force death” and said a local police officer killed someone outside the station. 

Witkins has been with the department since 2006 and is on administrative assignment.

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