HOUSTON (KTRK) --Dramatic cell phone video captured Houston police officers using a bean bag gun to subdue a man wielding a knife Tuesday morning. The man apparently told officers he had killed "the entire north side of Houston."
On the video, you can hear onlookers yelling "Oh my God" as the man flung a knife on Rusk, right in front of the Club Quarters Hotel. Moments later officers deployed the bean bag gun at least three times.
Carlos Garcia, a construction worker, captured the video.
"He got on the floor and he kept waving that knife around and then they Tasered him," said Garcia, who was at a work site near the incident around 6 am.
"We tried talking to him. We eventually had to deploy a soft impact weapon as well as multiple CED's (Taser)," HPD Officer Curtis Hampton said.
Hampton said they believe the man was suffering from delusions.
The restraint shown by HPD officers was praised by both eyewitnesses and the new police chief.
"The use of deadly force should be a last option," said Chief Art Acevedo. "It should not be your first option."
He says what happened Tuesday morning, shouldn't feel unusual because non-lethal tactics benefit everyone.
"I think that this illustrates the fact that police officers more often than not, are resorting to less lethal methods to save lives and we need to celebrate those instances. "
In this case, the man was taken to a hospital for mental health treatment.
No charges were filed.
"The bean bag was a good way to get him I guess," said Garcia, who admitted he thought he was going to see gunfire. "It was a good take-down. I'm glad they didn't shoot him."
Chief Acevedo said he would like to see police involved shootings decrease even more. He believes additional training and review of police tactics will help the department move that direction.