The Norman Transcript

March 6, 2006

Details emerge about weekend taser incident


Victim had other charges against him; pair of officers on leave

By Melissa A. Wabnitz

Transcript Staff Writer

The names of two Norman officers who employed a taser on a 27-year-old man who died Saturday morning were released Monday, as was additional information about the victim, a recently relocated New Orleans native.

Officer Robert Scott, a four-year veteran of Norman Police Department, fired a taser twice at Melvin Anthony Jordan in order to apprehend him at Chapel Ridge Apartment Complex shortly after 11 p.m. Friday.

Several 911 calls placed from apartment residents indicated Jordan was possibly under the influence of drugs as they reported seeing him "foaming at the mouth" and shouting that he was "the devil," said Lt. Leonard Judy, public information officer.

After being taken into police custody and transported to Norman Regional Hospital, Jordan suffered a cardiac arrest and subsequently died shortly after midnight Saturday. At that time, Judy said, officers Scott and Mark Johnson, another four-year veteran, were placed on administrative leave.

"We are investigating this as an unattended death and investigators from our criminal investigators unit are assigned to that," Judy said. "Once we have completed our investigation and the district attorney's office has completed theirs, then we will certainly release the information at that time."

This was not Jordan's first run-in with police and the District Attorney's office, as he was in an automobile accident Feb. 21 where he was cited for not carrying a valid driver's license, driving without insurance and reckless driving, Judy said.

Additionally, Jordan was scheduled for a non-jury trial 9:30 a.m. April 19 in Cleveland County District Court. According to an affidavit filed with those charges, Jordan physically assaulted and battered his wife Jan. 18 of this year by "throwing her against the wall," "hitting her repeatedly" and holding her down on the couch and attempting to choke her.

Melissa A. Wabnitz 366-3550 mwabnitz@normantranscript.com