It was Super Bowl Sunday, and a naked man was spotted walking on Blackstone Avenue, north of Herndon. He was sitting naked at a bus stop and later complied with Fresno police without an incident. He was taken to Community Regional Medical Center for a mental evaluation.
Two days later on February 7, that same man encounters police under similar circumstance. He is naked. He is walking along the street, this time, near Fresno Street & Indianapolis Avenue. A video, initially posted on Facebook shows at least four Fresno police officers around him as he continued forward.
“He was walking as if nothing was wrong. Bare naked, no clothes whatsoever,” witnessed Irma Sigala. who lives in the area.
Police say the estimated 6’6”, 260-pound Buchnoff was making verbal threats. According to Deputy Chief Lydia Carrasco, officers ordered Buchnoff to stop after spotting him at Ashlan & Fresno. He continued walking, allegedly saying “he was going to make it rough” for them. He was not complying with repeated orders to stop and refused commands. “He appeared very angry. His fists were clenched. The officers were concerned that he was going to become combative because he was not complying with their orders to stop.” Then the officers deployed the Tasers seen in the video.
The video, shot by Yvonne Marie, shows 38-year old Scott Buchnoff falling forward as he is being Tased. Sources tell GV Wire that he has mental health issues and is a dependent of the county. Officials at the Fresno County Department Behavioral Health would not confirm, citing privacy issues.
Sigala tells GV Wire what she observed. “He was not threatening or nothing. He was just walking quickly. His hands were as if he were marching with his hands to the side.”
Cynthia Murphy, a girl who lives in the same home as Sigala, concurs that Buchnoff was just staying quiet, walking. “What came to my head was that he had mental issues or something,” Murphy says.
Buchnoff was transferred to CRMC and cited for resisting arrest. According to Steve Wright with the county District Attorney’s office, they have not received any criminal complaint from the police.
Carrasco says Buchnoff told officers he was hearing voices to take his clothes off. She said the deployment of the Taser is justified because officers feared for their safety. “The subject is a very large man. All of those things led to officers to deploy the Taser. The deployment of the Taser was withing policy.”
Sigala had mixed feelings about the Taser’s use. She didn’t want Buchnoff to be Tased, but felt police needed to do something to get him off the street.