Video: Shirtless man wielding machete taken down outside New Orleans City Hall

Willie J. Carruth Sr.
Caption
Willie J. Carruth Sr.

Credit: Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office

Credit: Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office

A New Orleans man armed with a machete was safely subdued Tuesday after a Louisiana state trooper deployed a Taser on the man in a confrontation captured on video.

WWL-TV reported that the man, identified as Willie J. Carruth Sr., 52, was treated at a hospital and booked into the Orleans Parish Jail. Carruth is charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

Jail records show that Carruth is also being held on a probation violation.

Louisiana State Police officials said the trooper arrived on the scene in Duncan Plaza, across from New Orleans City Hall, to find a shirtless Carruth with what appeared to be a machete. In the video, which was shot by a WWL-TV photojournalist, Carruth is seen surrounded by men in suits and uniformed deputies.

After several moments of yelling and gesturing with the machete in one hand, Carruth appears to remove the weapon from its sheath. The trooper steps closer with his Taser and fires it, causing Carruth to drop to the ground.

"The trooper assessed the situation and, as deputies assisted, the trooper used his Taser to safely subdue the man," state police officials said in a Facebook post.

It was around 3 p.m. when Carruth showed up in the park, located near city hall's Perdido Street entrance, NOLA.com reported. It was not clear what Carruth was angry about, but he underwent a mental evaluation at the hospital, the news site said.

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New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell called the disturbance an "unfortunate, frightening event" in a statement obtained by NOLA.com.

"I'm grateful to all of our law enforcement partners, including our building security team, the NOPD, the OPSO and the Louisiana State Police for moving quickly to resolve the situation," Cantrell said. "Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt and the individual in question was taken into custody, where he can be evaluated with regard to his mental and medical condition."

“Mental health issues are a serious component of our commitment to addressing public safety as a matter of public health, and I hope this individual is able to get the treatment he needs.”