THE BRONX — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's Office is investigating the death of a Bronx man who was shocked with a Taser by an NYPD sergeant last week, a spokeswoman said.
Ariel Galarza, 49, was in his home at 1840 Mayflower Ave. on Nov. 2, acting violently around 5:35 p.m., when three uniformed officers and Sgt. William Morris confronted him, officials said.
Galarza then threatened them with a glass bottle, prompting Morris to shock him with his Taser before taking him into custody, according to the NYPD.
He came to while officers were trying to handcuff him and started resisting, when Morris shocked him with the Taser again, sources said.
Galarza then appeared to have a heart attack, so officers tried to resuscitate him using CPR, but he was pronounced dead at Einstein Hospital roughly two hours later, police said.
The New York State Attorney General has the authority to act as a special prosecutor in cases where law enforcement officers are involved in unarmed civilian deaths pursuant to an executive order Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued last summer.
The attorney general's office recently declined to investigate the death of Deborah Danner, a mentally ill woman who was fatally shot by police in The Bronx on Oct. 18, after determining that it did not have jurisdiction over the case given that Danner was armed with a bat during the shooting.
However, there are several more factors surrounding the question of whether or not Galarza was armed, given that the bottle he was holding was not broken and that he did not appear to be particularly close to the police, according to a source familiar with the case.
Police will cooperate with any official investigation into Galarza's death, according to the NYPD.