CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A man died while being arrested Tuesday by police officers, Charleston Police Chief Steve Cooper said.
According to Cooper, officers were called to 104 Falls Run Road in the Woodbridge subdivision at around noon after the woman there reported that her son had attacked his father. The officers found Walter Myers, 73, an amputee, seriously injured. Adam Myers, 36, of Charleston, was standing close by.
“The officers went to take Mr. (Adam) Myers into custody. They pulled their handcuffs out,” Cooper said during an appearance on 580-Live with Mayor Danny Jones on 580 WCHS Radio in Charleston. “Mr. Myers was standing and leveraging himself to where the officers couldn’t get handcuffs on his wrist so they had to pry his arms down.”
Cooper said the officers ultimately had to take Myers to the floor.
“At some point after Mr. Myers is handcuffed, two or three minutes into this, he stops breathing. According to his family he had a pre-existing cardiac condition,” Cooper said.
The incident was caught on the officers’ body cameras and Cooper said they showed “great restraint” during the incident.
“They didn’t strike him. All they did was pry his hands loose where they could handcuff him. Immediately, actually heroically, they went into life-saving measures without hesitation. They did not give up,” Cooper said.
Walter Myers, who Cooper described as “lying in a pool of his own blood,” remained hospitalized Tuesday.
According to Cooper, Adam Myers has had previous contact with police including a previous arrest for allegedly assaulting his father along with an arrest on drug charges. Drug paraphernalia was found in the house Tuesday, Cooper said.
“He (Adam Myers) had really spent quite a bit of physical and emotional energy in the attack on Walter Myers. He spent more energy resisting the arrest,” Cooper said.
The were two officers at the scene initially with a third arriving a few minutes later, Cooper said.
The officers involved have been cleared following the review of the body camera video. They are not on leave. The arrest will be reviewed by prosecutors and the professional standards department within the Charleston Police Department.