Man Grabbed Officer’s Taser in Altercation with Police, Later dies

Maui Police Department Kihei Patrol officers responded to a harassment type of case (via social media) in Ma’alaea at about 12:23 p.m. on July 26.

While police were en-route, the caller identifying himself as Reece Watwhit, later identified as 30-year-old Maurice Abisdid-Wagner of Massachusetts, called dispatch numerous more times.

On one of the calls, Abisdid-Wagner indicated there was a person with a firearm trying to break into the residence and also added that there were three to four people there trying to kick his door in. When officers arrived, they did not locate anyone on the property with a firearm trying to break in.  Instead, they were met with the owner of the unit, who indicated that his guest, Abisdid-Wagner had locked him out of his own unit. The owner was pounding on the door telling Abisdid-Wagner to let him back in when officers arrived.

Police officers made contact with Abisdid-Wagner in the unit. They noted that he was sweating profusely and speaking rapidly. He was uncooperative and his movements were both erratic and aggressive. As a result, officers requested medical support for Abisdid-Wagner. When the medics arrived, they were unable to assess his condition because Abisdid-Wagner continued to be uncooperative.

Officers attempted to corral Abisdid-Wagner away from the kitchen area, where kitchen knives could be reached. Abisdid-Wagner began to struggle with officers. In an attempt to subdue him, one of the police officers used his Taser to gain compliance. Unfortunately, during the struggle, Abisdid-Wagner disarmed the officer and gained control of the taser.  Abisdid-Wagner then used the Taser against the Officers. During the struggle, he used the taser on three different officers.

The officers were able to subdue Abisdid-Wagner and arrested him for the offenses of Robbery in the First Degree, Assault Against Police Officer I (3 Counts), and Disorderly Conduct.  Abisdid-Wangner sustained superficial wounds from the struggle.

Because of his behavior, Abisdid-Wagner was transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center Emergency Room for an evaluation. Transport to MMMC was completed at about 1:30 p.m.

At 5:52 pm, while at MMMC, Emergency Room, Abisdid-Wagner was pronounced dead.

An autopsy was conducted on July 27 and the cause of death is listed as “undetermined.” Police officials say the coroner is waiting for the toxicology results to come back. A preliminary toxicology report revealed that Abisdid-Wagner had amphetamine and THC in his system.

Contact was made with the Next of Kin on July 28.

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