Friday, June 22, 2018
Public safety

Man dies as police struggle to arrest him near St. Petersburg homeless shelters

ST. PETERSBURG — A man died Wednesday morning after a violent struggle with police officers who were trying to arrest him on a sidewalk near a group of homeless shelters.

Officers struggled with the man, 35-year-old Joshua Dove, for several minutes before they used a Taser twice in an effort to restrain him, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

The incident occurred around 7:10 a.m. at 1401 Fifth Ave. N.

Police were dispatched to the area because they received a tip that Dove and other men were using drugs at the location. Dove was with four other men when officers arrived. Police said they told the men to leave and all but Dove obeyed. Dove became confrontational and threw a punch at an officer, Patrick McGovern, a 21-year veteran of the department.

A backup officer, Bradley Lightfield, an eight-year veteran, assisted McGovern in attempting to arrest Dove as the struggle ensued.

Police said McGovern attempted to stun Dove with a Taser, but it didn't work. Two additional officers arrived. Dove was shocked again with a Taser and the officers were able to handcuff Dove, but police said Dove collapsed as they attempted to put leg restraints on him.

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue crews attempted to apply first aid as Dove was transported to St. Anthony's Hospital. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Dove's death is under investigation by police and the state attorney's and medical examiner's offices. Police said the officers, who were not injured during the confrontation, will remain on full duty.

Police said officers didn't find drugs on Dove, but witnesses told detectives he had smoked synthetic cannabinoids before officers arrived.

Times staff writer LaVendrick Smith contributed to this report.

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