Tasers, pepperballs, bean-bag shotgun used to subdue gun-wielding Hemet man

HEMET — A probationer who was seen walking through a Hemet neighborhood with a handgun was arrested after resisting officers Friday morning, April 19. According to witnesses at the scene, officials who responded to the incident used Tasers, pepperball rifles, and a bean-bag shotgun to subdue the uncooperative subject. Officers recovered a handgun at the scene and later reported the man was possibly suffering from drug-induced “excited delirium” when they contacted him.

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City of Hemet police officers were dispatched to the area of N. Ramona St. about 9:50 a.m., after receiving reports of a man in the street who was acting erratically while armed with a handgun. 911 callers reported the man was last seen walking south on Ramona St. toward Latham Ave.

Several officers converged on the area and quickly located the man, later identified as Rajai Collier, 37, of Hemet, walking in the roadway. Collier was still armed with the gun and was refusing to cooperate with officers, who were forced to Taser the man several times in an attempt to disarm him.

At some point during the violent encounter, Collier dropped his handgun but continued to refuse officers commands, at which time officials at the scene deployed several additional less-lethal options, including shooting him repeatedly with both pepperball rounds and a bean-bag shotgun.

Rajai Collier, 37, was arrested after officers were forced to use several less-lethal options, including Tasers, pepperball rifles, and a bean-bag shotgun to subdue him. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

As more officers raced to the scene with their lights flashing and sirens wailing, Collier gave up and was taken into custody without further incident.

Officers at the scene immediately requested fire and rescue personnel, as well as an AMR ambulance, to check Collier for injuries; reporting to dispatchers the man was possibly suffering from a drug-induced condition known as excited delirium.

Video filmed at the scene by Timothy Franzese, of Facebook’s Public Safety Incidents, showed officers first calming Collier before helping him up and assisting the unsteady man walk to the nearby curb to await medical personnel.

As the officers waited for fire and rescue personnel, area resident Veronica Valdes filmed officials calming and comforting the handcuffed man as he sat on the curb. He appeared dazed and confused and continually needed to be supported by officers around him. (See videos below.)

While paramedics later tended to Collier, officers conducted a records check and determined he was on probation for possession of narcotics for sales. Officials also recovered Collier’s handgun, a Ruger P89 9mm, that he dropped in the roadway when confronted by officers.

The highly-agitated man was later transported to Hemet Valley Hospital for a medical clearance required for booking, where several officers and hospital staff reportedly had to help help hold him down so HVH nurses could sedate and calm him.

Although officers initially blocked off the neighborhood and directed motorists and curious onlookers away from the area, the road and area was reopened after the conclusion of Hemet PD’s initial on-scene investigation.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Veronica Flores video
Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents video
Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents video

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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