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Suicidal man wielding knife is subdued with Taser

Gerald Finn wanted Merced County sheriff's deputies to kill him Sunday, but he didn't get his wish.

After a scuffle in the 2000 block of McCullough Road in the Stevinson area, the knife-wielding 34-year-old Finn ultimately was subdued by a Taser and arrested.

Deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman, said deputies Deborah French and Brandon Thomas responded to a disturbance call about 10 p.m. They saw Finn running at them with a stick with spikes on it and a chain, threatening to kill them.

Finn ignored orders to drop the weapons, would make menacing steps toward them and say "shoot me, go ahead and kill me."

Finn had been distraught lately due to being homeless and witnesses said he may have used methamphetamine before deputies arrived. He was confrontational with family members, triggering the initial disturbance call, MacKenzie said.

Finn ultimately dropped the stick but pulled out the small knife and began waving it at deputies. Thomas deployed his department-issue Taser to subdue Finn, but he was able to break away from the Taser probes before taking off on foot toward a house.

Thomas said Finn jumped onto the porch and tried to get inside but the door was locked. When he began climbing onto the railing his brother was able to pull him off, then French shot her Taser, striking Finn with both probes.

After a five-second burst with the Taser, Finn immediately complied with Thomas' verbal commands.

Finn was arrested on charges of making threats to a peace officer, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, a felony warrant and possession of methamphetamine.

He remains jailed in lieu of $242,000 bail, according to a correctional official.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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