Tuscaloosa authorities are investigating a man's death following a wreck and an altercation with police and sheriff's deputies.
Northport police officers responded to the 4100 block of 5th Street on June 15 following a report of a wreck with injuries.
On their way to the scene, they were told one of the driver's, Joshua Terrell Crawford, 25, walked away. Authorities were able to find him on Robert Cardinal Road almost one mile away from the accident scene. Officers saw that Crawford was bleeding heavily from his hands and arms. When officers approached to check on his injuries and inquire about the accident he didn’t answer directly and refused to stop.
When one officer tried to stop him police said Crawford swung at him, smearing blood on the officer’s face. Officers tried to detain him and he became very combative.
An officer then used pepper spray on Crawford which did not seem to have an affect. At some point during the altercation with the two officers, one of the officers activated his emergency button requesting all available assistance.
A Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy was nearby. When the deputy arrived he saw Crawford walking away from the officers and the deputy positioned his vehicle to block oncoming traffic. As he got out of the vehicle the officers were attempting to detain Crawford who was swinging wildly at them. One of the officers was able to get his hands on Crawford and Crawford struck the officer in the face.
The deputy then used his Taser in an attempt to gain control of Crawford. When one officer attempted to handcuff Crawford he continued to actively resist and the deputy used the drive stun technique of the Taser to gain compliance of Crawford.
Emergency medical personnel were called to the scene when Crawford began exhibiting behavior seen in persons under the influence of narcotics and/or having mental episodes.
Crawford was taken to Northport DCH. He went into medical distress and was taken to DCH Tuscaloosa and placed into intensive care. He died the next day.
The case is pending the results of an autopsy.
Based on witness statements it appears Crawford intentionally hit the other vehicle. The passenger in the Crawford’s vehicle was taken to DCH also. She was treated and released.
Two Northport officers were taken to DCH for treatment. They were later released.
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