Nude man walking in Phoenix street dies after being detained by police

Sep 10, 2021, 10:01 AM | Updated: Sep 15, 2021, 9:50 am
(Facebook Photo, File/Phoenix Police Department)...
(Facebook Photo, File/Phoenix Police Department)
(Facebook Photo, File/Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX – A man who’d been walking nude in the middle of a Phoenix street early Friday lost consciousness and died after being detained by police, authorities said.

Officers responded to multiple reports of a unclothed man in the roadway near Seventh Avenue and McDowell Road just before 1 a.m., Phoenix Police Sgt. Vincent Cole said during a press conference.

“Apart from being nude he was speaking incoherently, he was speaking about God and the devil and things like that,” Cole said.

“Our concern at that point shifted to his welfare. … Officers wanted to determine exactly what was going on. … The first step in that was moving him to a safe location.”

The man started fighting with officers when they tried to move him out of the street, Cole said. While on the ground, he began to kick and spit.

“Officers applied a restraint to his legs and placed a spit mask over his head” Cole said. “He was then removed to the side of the road in an upright seated position.”

Cole said the leg restraints, which attach at the ankles, were used to prevent the man from kicking officers, while the mask was used to prevent him from spitting.

When the man was receiving aid, Cole said he became unresponsive and nonverbal.

“The handcuffs, leg restraint and spit mask were removed, and Phoenix Fire began lifesaving measures,” Cole said.

He was transported to a hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased, Cole said.

Police know the identity of the man but aren’t yet releasing his name, Cole said. (Update: On Sept. 15, police identified the man as 28-year-old Jessee Rickman.)

He said the officers involved were equipped with body-worn cameras that were activated.

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Nude man walking in Phoenix street dies after being detained by police