A burglary suspect who suffered a fatal cardiac event after being tasered by a Mobile Police officer was allegedly subdued at the scene by an armed citizen before police arrived.
According to the Mobile Police Department, officers were dispatched to the scene of several reported burglaries in the area of Old Pascagoula Road and Roundtree Court around noon, Oct. 21. The suspect was identified Wednesday as 36-year-old Christopher McCorvey, of Mobile.
Officers attempted to take McCorvey into custody by deploying a taser but had no success. He then fled on foot and jumped a fence in an attempt to escape the officers but was quickly confronted and subdued by a Mobile County Sheriff’s Deputy, though police say McCorvey still continued to resist arrest.
In a press release Wednesday, an MPD spokesperson said one of the department’s officers then used a touch taser in a final attempt to “bring McCorvey into compliance.” It’s unclear exactly when, but McCorvey later suffered an apparent cardiac event and died while receiving treatment at a local hospital.
Police have not released many other details about the situation, but it appears neighbors from the area were actually able to at least partially subdue McCorvey at gunpoint prior to officers’ arrival on the scene.
Johnny Hatcher, who lives on Hayfield Circle, told Lagniappe McCorvey made an unsuccessful attempt to enter his home but was scared away by a dog. He then tried to enter another neighbor’s house before moving to Johnson Road where he attempted to carjack motorists and enter other houses.
“I told my son ‘if we don’t do something, he’s going to hurt somebody,’” Hatcher said. “When we got to Johnson Road, he was trying to carjack a young lady in a four-door sedan so I jumped out with my pistol, ran toward him and told him not to move, but then he walked off and started impeding other vehicles.”
According to Hatcher, McCovery eventually entered the front door of another’s neighbor’s house while he and his son waited for him to exit. After he exited again, he says the two of them again confronted McCorvey, who allegedly tried to throw rocks at them and before finally sitting down outside.
Hatcher said McCorvey was “talking out of his head” and “appeared to be on some kind of drug” but eventually calmed down and even passed out at one point before the police arrived. However, when police got to the scene, he said McCovery had become agitated again and was resisting the officers.
Police have yet to confirm Hatcher’s version of events, but much of the scene he described to Lagniappe matched the statement MPD released afterward. He was also able to identify McCorvey by name and in a photograph before his identity was formally released by MPD.
As for the police response, Hatcher said he personally felt that the use of the taser was necessary because McCorvey, who jail records indicate is 6 feet 4 inches tall and 230 pounds, was able to easily overpower the first officer that attempted to take him into custody.
“The officer that tased him and kept telling him to stop resisting, and he tased him three maybe even four times, but he didn’t hold it on him,” Hatcher said. “He wasn’t tased after he was restrained at all.”
Hatcher, who claims he stayed on the scene as paramedics from Mobile County EMS arrived, said McCovery was treated on the scene and was quickly taken to the hospital once it was apparent that he was having some type of cardiac event. Learning of his death, he said the whole situation was tragic.
“I’m very sorry this man lost his life, but Mobile PD and Mobile County Sheriff’s Department did everything they could possibly do to subdue him without using lethal force… it’s just a tragic ending,” he said.
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