UPDATE: Man's death during pursuit ruled accidental

The St. Joseph County Coroner has ruled the death of 31-year-old Michael Anderson accidental.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, police attempted to pull Anderson over as he was driving down Miami on a moped that was potentially stolen.

“Once he got into the 7-11 parking lot, they put the lights on him,” said Anderson’s relative, Damien Wafford. “So, he pulled up right in front of a house. They jumped out the car on him real fast and he jumped off the moped and took off.”

Anderson ran from Miami down Calvert Street as police chased him, shouting at him to stop.

“Once he took off and got right here and got across the street, the police had tased him,” Wafford said. “They shot the Taser, but he kept running and once he got right there in front of the car, he dropped down and said he was done and then two officers had Tased him and they jumped on him.”

Contrary to what Wafford claims he saw, an autopsy performed Monday revealed only one probe from a Taser could have hit Anderson.

The St. Joseph County coroner's office says a single mark was found on Anderson's body, suggesting one probe struck him. For Taser probes to have any effect, both probes must make contact with a person.

Electronic records on the Tasers also support the coroner's findings.

The coroner says a plastic bag containing marijuana was found in Anderson's airway, cutting off all oxygen and causing his death.

Police say they noticed Anderson trying to swallow something as he ran from them.

The prosecutor's office says when they saw him choking, police called for medics and pulled the baggie out of his mouth, as well as a crumpled dollar bill.

Medics were unable to open Anderson's airway at the scene, so he was transported to a hospital. Medics tried to resuscitate him for three hours, but were unsuccessful.

His death has been ruled accidental.

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor says there's no evidence police acted improperly or caused Anderson's death.

St. Joseph County Metro Homicide continues to investigate and will review in-car camera recordings.

Those who knew Anderson say he was a good father and role model.

“That was my dude,” Alexander said. “I looked up to him and I respected him. That ain't how he should have gone out.”


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