Mesa police ID man who died after stun guns used

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Joseph Moreno died Thursday after he was in police custody in Mesa. (Source: CBS 5 News) Joseph Moreno died Thursday after he was in police custody in Mesa. (Source: CBS 5 News)

Mesa police have identified a wanted man who died Thursday after he was subdued by police using stun guns.

Police said they didn't know anything was wrong with Joseph Moreno for almost an hour after he was taken into custody.

A fugitive task force with members of the Mesa Police Department and the U.S. Marshal's Service said they Moreno, 25, in his car at a Mesa apartment and were trying to take him into custody for questioning about a robbery the previous day.

A Mesa police spokesman said Moreno had a warrant out for felony aggravated assault, and that he was a convicted violent felon with prior arrests for drug offenses.

Officers said Moreno wouldn't follow police officer commands, so they used stun guns on him. He went down and they handcuffed him before taking him into custody.

As per standard procedure, the man was taken to be examined by paramedics, who cleared him medically and left.

About 45 minutes later, officers noticed something terribly wrong.

"He was handcuffed in an air-conditioned patrol car talking with detectives," said Mesa police Lt. Dave Hagar. "He was with detectives the entire time being interviewed when he started to have slurred speech and he was sweating profusely and that's when they called the fire department because they thought something was amiss. They wanted to have him treated and by the time fire got to the scene he had coded."

A source close to the investigation told CBS 5 the man's behavior indicated he might have been on drugs and he became agitated and incoherent. And in his car, authorities found items connected to a home invasion in Mesa earlier Thursday.

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