LITTLEFIELD, Arizona – A man who died Friday after a Mohave County Sheriff’s deputy and an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer each used a TASER on him in the course of arresting him when he fled an attempted motorcycle traffic stop in the area of Littlefield, Arizona, has been identified as Michael John O’Connell, 44.
O’Connell was wanted on a California warrant for several counts of lewd or lascivious acts involving a child.
Deputies in the Littlefield area spotted O’Connell traveling on a motorcycle without a license plate Friday night, Mohave County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Patricia Carter said. Deputies tried to stop O’Connell and he abandoned the bike and ran into the desert.
Sheriff’s deputies and DPS officers found him in some brush and used a TASER on him twice after he allegedly became combative, Carter said in a statement issued Saturday. O’Connell stopped breathing while being led in handcuffs to a patrol car, she said.
During the investigation, it was learned that O’Connell had a felony warrant for his arrest issued on May 27 by the City of San Jose Police Department in California, Carter said in her statement issued Monday. The warrant stems from felony charges alleging four counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 years of age and three counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child 14 or 15 years of age.
O’Connell had residences in Littlefield, Arizona, as well as Phoenix, Arizona.
The cause of death has not yet been determined; an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. Family notifications have been made.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety is continuing their investigation.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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