Anyone who works out at a gym with any regularity is familiar with the unspoken laws of the weight room jungle: Allow fellow gymgoers to "work in"; don't grunt like a horny ape upon exertion; and, most importantly, don't lift your shirt to nipple level and admire your own abdominals in the mirror for extended periods of time. It's all pretty common sense stuff, and for the most part, people abide by it, making the gym a pleasant experience for everyone. But then, of course, there are those who don't.
Chad Brothers, a six-foot-one, 230-pound, 32-year-old Gold's Gym member from upstate New York, was one of the latter — and that would be putting it mildly. According to witnesses, he arrived at the gym at 5:45 am on Monday, and was immediately acting strangely, making "exaggerated sounds" as he worked out. By 6:18, he had either fallen or leaped off of an elliptical machine, at which point Brothers embarked upon a rampage so over-the-top, The Hulk would have pulled him aside for a "chill, brah" time-out.
First, the Times Union reports, Brothers walked over to an occupied treadmill and increased its speed. He then punched the man running on it in the face, according to Colonie Police Chief Steven H. Heider. He then toppled "several universal weight machines," each weighing over 700 pounds. Then he "destroyed a display case and threw 45-pound dumbbells." Then he left. Hooray! Then he came back. Booo! Then he entered a manager's office, tore computers out of the wall and toppled file cabinets.
At this point, a female police officer arrived and "ordered Brothers to stand down." Brothers threw boxes at her. She responded by firing a Taser at him, which attached itself to his chest and leg; the 50,000 volts threw him to the ground, incapacitated. The officer then proceeded to cuff him, at which point Brothers stood up, with the officer clinging to his back. According to Heider, Brothers then grabbed the Taser from the officer "and appeared to shock himself."
Backup had by then arrived, promptly whipping out their own Tasers and proceeding to fire away. Brothers was hit "four to five times" at "three to five seconds" each time. He was also struck with a baton. It would require the help of several other gym meatheads, and two — yes, two — sets of handcuffs to finally restrain him.
"This was a whirlwind of a battle in a confined space," Heider said.
A minute after he was finally restrained and in custody, Brothers went into cardiac arrest. An off-duty firefighter working out at the time began administering CPR, going so far as to attach a defibrillator to Brothers' chest while they waited for first responders to arrive. The defibrillator never discharged. By 7:14 am, Brothers was pronounce dead at Albany Medical Center Hospital. A tipster near the scene told us: "Fear not. The gym didn't shut down during or after any of this."
Heider says the force was justified and applied only after Brothers would not respond to verbal communication. The officers who Tased Brothers have a paid day off while the incident is investigated internally. An autopsy will be performed today, which will include a toxicology study to see if Brothers was under the influence of performance-enhancing drugs. [Photo via Shutterstock]