Tuesday, 05 March 2024

REGIONAL: Man who died following tasering had meth in his system

UKIAH – A man tasered during a struggle with law enforcement on Monday had methamphetamine in his system, according to a Thursday report.

Christopher John Belknap, 36, a transient from Ukiah, died following the confrontation with a Mendocino County Sheriff's sergeant and a sergeant with the Ukiah Police Department, as Lake County News has reported.

Lt. Rusty Noe of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reported that Belknap was released from San Quentin State Prison last Saturday.

Belknap attacked a Mendocino County Sheriff's Sergeant Monday at around 8 p.m. as he was parked using his cell phone in the 700 block of S. State Street, Noe said.

While defending himself the sergeant deployed his taser and Belknap was stunned twice before he was able to disengage the taser probes. Noe said Belknap resumed his attack and was punching the sergeant when a Ukiah Police Sergeant arrived to assist.

The Ukiah Police sergeant deployed his taser and Belknap was restrained. Noe said officers were still struggling with Belknap placing him in leg restraints. Belknap became unresponsive and paramedics were called.

Noe said Belknap was transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Tests done at the hospital prior to Belknap's death showed positive for the use of methamphetamine, Noe said.

Belknap had a long history of drug abuse and assault including several incidents of resisting arrest, according to Noe.

In April of 2009 Belknap was contacted by sheriff's deputies and arrested for resisting arrest and breaking out a window in a patrol car, Noe said. Charges were referred to state parole and he was sent to state prison for six months on a violation.

Noe said the investigation is continuing with the Mendocino County District Attorney working with the sheriff's office and Ukiah Police.

The cause of death is still pending toxicology testing. Results of an autopsy conducted Tuesday are also pending, Noe said.

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