Man Dies After Being Tased by Woodland Officer; Family Disputes Police Account of Incident

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WOODLAND -- What started as a call to Woodland police about a man exposing himself and cussing at strangers quickly turned violent.

"He was carrying a knife, a pair of scissors at one point, as the reports came in that he had actually obtained a golf club," Woodland police Lt. Anthony Cucchi said.

Investigators say when they arrived, the man, identified as Michael Barrera, was not only armed, he was dressed in nothing but a towel and a trench coat. He had walked from his apartment complex several blocks to Garfield Place.

"Confronted him, he still had the golf club. He was swinging it around," Cucchi said.

Officers say they were able to talk Barrera into dropping the golf club but it didn’t end there.

"Quickly turned on one of the officers, charged at him and attacked the officer," Cucchi said.

And that's when police used a Taser, to stop him. But something went wrong.

"The officers noticed that he stopped breathing. CPR was administered immediately, along with summoning medical response, and he was transported to Woodland Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead," Cucchi added.

The family declined to talk on camera but told FOX40 "There has been a ton of contradictions and false info put out by Woodland PD."

The family believes Barrera wasn't armed.

Neighbors on Garfield Place say they're a tight-knit group and called police when they saw the man acting erratically.

"It's really unfortunate that it has come down to this, that this young man had to pass away. My prayers go out to his family," resident Mary Vasquez said.

An autopsy on Barrera was performed Thursday. There were no visible signs of trauma to the body. Sheriff Ed Prieto said toxicology results will take a couple of weeks.


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