The Bronx man who died on Monday after an NYPD officer Tasered him in his apartment was not brandishing scissors, as per the initial police report, according to a lawyer for the man's family and an anonymous NYPD source.
Mario Ocasio, 51, went into cardiac arrest on Monday morning, after NYPD officers responded to a call regarding an "emotionally disturbed person" (EDP), and allegedly found Ocasio "armed" with a pair of scissors in his University Heights apartment, and Tasered him.
According to the NYPD, Ocasio may have been on K-2, a synthetic version of pot. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Here is the exact language from the initial police report, issued by the NYPD's press office: "Upon arrival police encountered a 51-year-old male armed with a pair of scissors. A uniformed supervisor tasered the individual and he was placed into custody."
However, a lawyer for Ocasio's family told the NY Times that Ocasio was neither holding scissors, nor acting violently, when he was Tasered. According to the lawyer, the only pair of "scissors" in the room was a pair of nail clippers, which were not in Ocasio's hand.
Ocasio's girlfriend, Geneice Lloyd, and her 31-year-old nephew claim Ocasio was lying on the floor in a "catatonic" state when NYPD officers arrived on the scene. Nevertheless, one officer allegedly hit Ocasio with his baton while attempting to handcuff him, while another officer allegedly fired the Taser into Ocasio's back after he was already in handcuffs.
“Mario was laying on the floor, calm,” Ms. Lloyd told the Times. “All they had to do was wait for the ambulance to come.”
Yesterday, an NYPD official told the Times, on condition of anonymity, that Ocasio did not have scissors in his hand. However, according to the officer, Ocasio "violently resisted" being handcuffed.
The NYPD has not issued an update to its initial press release. Reached by phone, an NYPD spokesperson confirmed that the only update reflected in the report is that the autopsy is complete, and cause of death is still pending.