LAPD Says Tasing Sledge Hammer Did Not Work

Dan Miller

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman told XBIZ there were two attempts to subdue the late adult performer Sledge Hammer, aka Marland Anderson, with a Taser in the wee hours of last Monday morning, but that both attempts did not work to control him.

“It’s my understanding at this point that the Taser was used twice, ineffectively,” LAPD Lt. Andrew Neiman said Monday. “It was what we call a contact Tasing. The darts were not fired. They were merely trying to place the Taser on Mr. Anderson to try to get him to comply.”

This technique, also known as a "Drive Stun," is intended to cause pain without incapacitating the target.

When Anderson still did not comply with police after the two Tasing attempts, Neiman said “he was subdued with body force and firm grips.”

“The only thing that was effective was the use of body weight and firm grips to gain control of him,” the LAPD official said.

The LAPD’s statement conflicts with what Anderson’s girlfriend, adult performer Alexa Cruz, said was her understanding of the incident based on her conversations with medical personnel at Northridge Hospital on Monday afternoon. She said he had been Tased possibly up to six times before going into cardiac arrest that resulted in him lapsing into a coma. Anderson died early Friday morning after being taken off a respirator on Thursday.

In response to the LAPD's account of the incident and the number of times Anderson was Tased, Cruz told XBIZ Monday, "That's not accurate." She declined to comment any further on the investigation. 

Cruz on Friday said that she called 911 after 1 a.m. on April 9 when Anderson appeared as though he may harm himself at the apartment in Reseda where both had lived together for over one year. She said he was suffering from severe insomnia and mild schizophrenia and needed help.

Neiman told XBIZ that “between six and eight” LAPD officers responded to Cruz’s 911 call, but that it was unclear exactly how many officers it took to control Anderson after he broke through his restraints as paramedics tried to take him to the hospital.  

The LAPD’s Force Investigation Division is investigating the incident, which is a routine procedure with any law enforcement-related injury, Neiman indicated.

Investigations are initiated for everything from officer-involved shootings to dog bites, Neiman said.

The LAPD official said that each of the officers present at that incident would be interviewed as part of the investigation, which must be completed within one year.

Cruz said that an autopsy was being performed on Anderson to determine the exact cause of death. The L.A. County coroner was not available for comment at post time.

Anderson will be cremated and memorial service plans thus far are being kept private due to the family’s wishes, according to Anderson’s close friend, director Stoney Curtis.

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