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Suicidal Porn Star Dies After Being Tased By Police, Friends Demand an Investigation

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The porn star known as "Sledge Hammer" died Friday at age 39, just five days after he was hospitalized after a clash with police.

Sledge Hammer, whose legal name is Marland Anderson, was a Seattle native "built like a brick house" who had performed in more than 800 movies since 1995, according to XBIZ.com. But lately the porn star had been suffering from a "mild form of schizophrenia," depression and anxiety, according to director and longtime friend Stoney Curtis.

On Monday, he had a severe anxiety attack that turned suicidal while he was at his apartment in Reseda. Curtis said his girlfriend Alexa Cruz called 9-1-1 to save Anderson from himself. Police responded along with an ambulance. LAPD Lt. Andrew Neiman told the Los Angeles Times that Anderson had a knife and was cutting himself and Cruz had struggled to wrest the knife out of his hands.

"He didn't fight [the police] at all," Cruz told XBIZ. "He put his hands up above his head and kept telling them he was tired. He was scared. He was delusional. He’s not a violent guy. He needed to be sedated." She added: "I thought they would take him to a 72-hour psychiatric hold in the hospital. I made it clear to the police that he didn’t do anything to me."

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Anderson became agitated when he got loaded into the ambulance and locked to the gurney, Curtis said. Police told the Times that he tried to stand up and he did it with such force that he broke the gurney free from the floor and broke the handcuffs. Police responded by tasing him, and then physically restrained him. The clash sent him to the hospital.

Curtis told XBIZ that it was the tasing that sent him into cardiac arrest:

"The police came and instead of trying to talk to him or grab him and get him to the ground, or the paramedics giving him a sedative, they decided to break out their tasers and just tasered him excessively until the point where he went into cardiac arrest. After he went into cardiac arrest, they rushed him to the hospital and revived him. But they estimated that his heart had stopped beating for 10 minutes. They got his heart beating again and put him on a respirator, but he had massive swelling in the brain from the loss of oxygen."

His family took him off a respirator Thursday night when doctors told them Anderson had no chance of regaining cognitive function.Curtis said his family and friends are considering taking legal action: "We believe there was excessive force used and investigators and attorneys will be called to get to the bottom of what happened to Marland Anderson. Stoney Curtis will see to it that he does not die in vain.