GREENWOOD, Ind (WISH) — Greenwood Police said a man claimed to be Jesus, before they tased him. The man later died.
On police body camera, you can hear 30-year-old Charles Todero identifying himself as Jesus Christ. You can also see him waiving a Bible. You hear police speculate that he might be on LSD and they said he wasn’t all there.
According to Greenwood Police Chief John Laut, they were responding to a suicide call before tasing Todero 16 times on May 29.
Todero was acting erratically, police say, walking in front of traffic on Madison Avenue just south of the Greenwood Park Mall.
Police believe he was intentionally trying to walking into traffic. They said they tried to warn Todero, but he wouldn’t stop.
They tased him, police claim, to protect him from oncoming traffic. Initially, they said, Todero did not respond to being tased, so they continued deploying the taser.
Eventually, they were able to subdue him and video shows Todero on a stretcher.
In the ambulance, police said he was combative and so medics gave him Versed, which is a drug used for sedation. Todero then went into cardiac arrest.
Medics reportedly put him in a drug induced coma. He died about two weeks later on June 11.
According to the coroner, police said, he died of natural causes brought on by brain swelling. Police said Todero had liver disease, Hepatitis C and was on a transplant list for an unknown organ.
Toxicology tests results are pending, but police said they’re confident that his death was not brought on by the tasing incident.
“We don’t know where he would’ve gone. We have no idea what his medical conditions are. We have no idea what drugs he has taken. If he had taken drugs… All we knew at the time is he was incoherent, and was not following orders,” said Greenwood Police Chief John Laut.
According to police, Todero has been arrested by Greenwood 15 times in the past.
Most recently, he was arrested in May of 2013 on a probation issue. A year prior, he was arrested for public intoxication.
24-Hour News 8 spoke with Todero’s mom and brother. They had agreed to an on camera interview, however, when we arrived they declined per their attorney’s request.