MILWAUKEE — A 30-year-old man is in very critical condition after relatives say he suffered cardiac arrest following an incident with police. Police deny using any force to restrain the man, who is described as mentally ill.
A woman identifying herself as the man’s mother spoke with FOX6 News. She says 30-year-old John Kriewaldt was declared brain dead Sunday, July 29th after going into cardiac arrest Saturday night.
Kriewaldt was checked into a group home near 94th and Carmen earlier Saturday night after a family member claimed Kriewaldt had become violent at her home. Police were called to the home to restrain Kriewaldt, and from there, two very different stories have emerged.
Neighbors say they heard commotion near the group home a little after 10:00 p.m. Saturday.
“I heard the man when he was yelling,” neighbor Tosheanna Davis said.
Milwaukee police have not answered questions about the incident at this time. A posting on MPD’s “The Source” website says police were called to the group home for a man breaking things inside. Upon arrival, police say the man hit an officer in the face.
The man was placed inside a squad car, where police say he began to bang his head repeatedly on a metal post in the back of the squad.
Police removed the man from the squad car to prevent further injury.
Police say when the man was removed, he resisted the officers and then began to vomit. Officers summoned medical attention and an ambulance. CPR was administered at the scene and the suspect was taken to a local hospital.
Via “The Source,” police say: “At no time during the incident did any officer use force to take the subject into custody. There was no Taser, baton or any other force used at any time.”
A witness told FOX6 News they had seen a Taser used on Kriewaldt, but police deny that, and Kriewaldt’s mother says doctors found no evidence of him being tased.
Kriewaldt’s mother says there were scratches on his face and bruises on his shoulders.
Neighbors say they were surprised to learn the man is Kriewaldt, whom they describe as “a big kid.” They say it’s well-known on the block that he’s mentally ill.
“He’ll just sit in the grass — lay in the grass. He’ll ask the kids if they wanna eat grass with him. All the little kids know him around here, by his name and everything,” neighbor Celeste Wilson said.
FOX6 News left a message with the owner of the group home, Bell Therapy, but have yet to hear back from the company.
Milwaukee police say their investigation into this incident is ongoing.