The man charged down a Bellevue street Wednesday night, screaming into a cellphone, referencing Jesus, the devil and his grandmother as he walked. When a neighbor stepped out and suggested he tone it down, his rage flared.
Within the hour, the distressed man, Alex J. Zoucha, was dead.
Zoucha, 31, stopped breathing on the lawn at 612 W. 22nd Ave. as Bellevue police officers arrested him, a department spokeswoman said.
An autopsy was completed Thursday morning. Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said he had not received a report on its findings and could not release the cause and manner of Zoucha’s death. Toxicology testing that may yield more answers also was incomplete, he said.
One of four officers involved in the encounter with Zoucha used a stun gun to halt him, Polikov said. Zoucha was agitated and uncooperative, the prosecutor said.
“He was kind of out of control,” Polikov said.
Rich Chandler, 66, was inside his house in the 600 block of West 22nd Avenue when he heard Zoucha yelling outside. Chandler walked out to the curb and asked if he could help.
Chandler said Zoucha was “screaming at the top of his lungs” and spewed expletives. Chandler called 911 as Zoucha next went to the rear of his grandmother’s house, then to the front door across the street, where he had an encounter with a man.
Zoucha was on a porch and was stunned once there. Then he was stunned again as he moved toward the officers and perhaps a third time before he was subdued, Chandler said.
“They all jumped on top of him,” he said.
Zoucha, who has a conviction for felony theft, lived with his grandmother across the street from the house where he was arrested.
Police said Zoucha allegedly assaulted her Wednesday night before they arrived. She was treated for minor injuries.
A relative of Zoucha’s declined Thursday night to answer questions.
Zoucha was pronounced dead at Nebraska Medicine-Bellevue sometime after the 9:30 p.m. disturbance began, said Laurie Synowiecki, a Bellevue police investigator.
Police said they were called to a report of a man standing in a street and screaming. When they arrived, they found Zoucha trying to get in the house.
He had caused significant damage to the front door.
Police said the man became “violently combative” and noncompliant. The stun gun “had little to no effect at the time,” Synowiecki said.
As the four officers continued to try to control Zoucha and arrest him, he became unresponsive, police said.
Police said they performed CPR on the man.
Synowiecki said any connection between the use of a stun gun and Zoucha’s death was under investigation.
No officers were injured during the struggle and arrest, police said. The four officers involved — Allison Evans, 28; Holly McQuaid, 33; Ashley Meyers, 32; and Anthony Orsi, 30 — were placed on paid administrative leave while the case is investigated, police said.
Under state law, a grand jury is convened to investigate a case any time a person dies in jail, in custody or as law enforcement is trying to arrest the person.