Friends and family have confirmed with 7NEWS that 29-year-old Alonzo Ashley is the man who died after a police struggle at the Denver Zoo.
Denver Police also confirm with 7NEWS that a zoo security guard called police about a domestic violence situation.
Police used a Taser during the arrest. An officer made direct contact with Ashley's skin, and did not shoot the nodes out like a gun. According to police, the Taser was used without success.
Ashley's family met with 7NEWS, but did not want to speak on camera. They have hired an attorney to make sure police followed the proper protocol.
Tuesday morning, Ashley's girlfriend spoke with KHOW-AM radio about what happened at the zoo Monday afternoon.
She said he had stopped to cool off at a water fountain and had put his head under the water.
"He was getting real hot. He was getting dehydrated. "The zoo staff told him he couldn't put his head under the water fountain," said Ashley's girlfriend.
His girlfriend shook her head, "no" when 7NEWS asked if there was any violence before police or security arrived.
She told KHOW, initially the security was checking on him.
"The security was saying do you need paramedics and he said, 'No, I'm fine,'" she said.
According to her, when security starting talking to her, he got upset.
"He told me, 'Babe don't tell them anything,' and that's when he told the security leave, leave (her) alone,'" she said.
She said he ran toward the security officer and came back with cuts. When zoo security came back, she said Ashley started to talk back.
"He was like, 'OK, hit me then. Hit me.' He's like, 'You want to fight?' That's when I screamed to him, I was like, 'Babe, you got to stop. If you love me you have to stop right now," she said.
Police arrived and tried to arrest Ashley.
"They were trying to grab him, but he was so aggressive. They were trying to grab him and cuff him, but they couldn't," she told KHOW radio. "They kept telling him to stop resisting before we taze you, and that's when he's like, 'Please don't taze me.' And they said, 'Well then stop resisting,'" said his girlfriend.
According to police the Taser was used without success. Police report that Ashley continued to violently resist and assault officers. After several minutes of fighting, police say they had him in custody.
Ashley then started convulsing and stopped breathing. Officers and paramedics attempted life-saving measures, but Ashley died at hospital.
Police say one officer was hit by Ashley, another was bitten. A zoo employee was also bitten and suffered a head injury.
Police report they found drugs and drug paraphernalia on Ashley.
7NEWS checked his criminal background. He pleaded guilty to drug paraphernalia in 2003.
Copyright Report a typo or inaccuracyIf you have a news tip or a follow-up to this story, e-mail us.Copyright 2011 by TheDenverChannel.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.