An "erratic" man who Murrieta police say exhibited signs of being under the influence of drugs was Tasered but escaped in a hospital emergency room before finally being subdued, police said.
The man's alleged behavior was reported to Murrieta police at 9:21 a.m. Sunday by two concerned citizens in the neighborhood of 23800 Barberry Place—off Washington Avenue and Jerry Allen Lane—said Murrieta police Sgt. Mark Reid, in a news release.
One resident told police he confronted the suspect, identified as Andrew Robert Piuma, 33, after he jumped over a fence from his neighbor’s backyard and asked to use his cellphone.
A second person called to report that Piuma was "walking down the street in disheveled clothing, mumbling and asked if he could borrow his car."
Reid said a Murrieta officer "located Piuma and immediately saw he was exhibiting behavior consistent with someone who is under the influence of narcotics."
Piuma allegedly ran from police as a second officer arrived, running through several backyards and an open garage.
"There were children outside riding their bicycles with a mother watching over," Reid said.
Piuma also allegedly approached a stopped driver and tried to get in the passenger side of the car.
"When officers did locate Piuma, he was only wearing long underpants with shoes, profusely sweating with a thousand mile stare, speaking incoherently and not following commands to stay seated," Reid said.
"Officers had several force options and chose to deploy the Taser because it was determined by the arresting officers as the most appropriate and effective way to take Piuma safely into custody, given the circumstances," the sergeant said.
As is customary when someone is Tasered by officers, Reid said paramedics with the Murrieta Fire Department were standing by to medically evaluate Piuma once officers gained control.
Piuma was taken by ambulance to Inland Valley Medical Center for medical clearance.
"Upon arrival to Inland Valley, Piuma broke free from an officer’s grasp and fled," Reid said. "After a short chase, Piuma was detained and taken for medical treatment. Due to Piuma’s erratic behavior, two officers were used to provide a safe environment for medical staff and patients in the emergency room."
Piuma was later booked at Southwest Detention Center on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.
He was released later Sunday, jail records showed.