A 22-year-old Tujunga man who was acting paranoid, prompting Burbank police to use a Taser to subdue him after he refused to stop fleeing on Monday, may not face criminal charges.
The man, whose identity was not released due to his unknown mental state, was taken into custody Monday after he ran from police officers who were trying to hold him for allegedly taking a woman's cell phone.
Sgt. Darin Ryburn said the man called police from IKEA in downtown Burbank around 4:45 p.m. to report that “someone was following him and wanted to harm him.”
The man made the call after “borrowing” a phone from a 24-year-old woman. When he refused to return her phone, the woman chased the man northbound on San Fernando Boulevard, Ryburn said.
“She gets her phone back, calls police and the guy keeps running,” Ryburn said.
An officer in a patrol car was checking the area and saw a man who matched the description of the suspect at the Ralph's parking lot on the east side of San Fernando.
When the suspect saw the officer, he began to run, Ryburn said.
“He ran across San Fernando and was almost hit by southbound traffic,” Ryburn said, adding that additional patrol cars were called and followed the man into the CVS parking lot, near the Sprouts market.
The man continued running from the officers in the patrol cars as two officers on foot approached the man from the opposite direction, Ryburn said.
“Police directed the man to stop and get on the ground and he refused,” Ryburn said.
“Based on his actions, police determined he was a danger and wanted to control him. A Taser was deployed and police were able to control him and place him in handcuffs.”
The man was taken to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center for evaluation, Ryburn said.
Police suspect the man may have been under the influence of drugs and, based on his unknown mental state, was not arrested Monday, Ryburn said.
“It's likely the matter will be submitted to the city attorney's office for review of any criminal prosecution,” he added.