Man who died after jumping in Thames while being Tasered by cops was armed with plastic firefighter

A man who died after jumping in the River Thames while being Tasered by officers chasing him was armed with a plastic firelighter, the police watchdog has revealed.

It was previously believed that Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore, 41, was holding a screwdriver when two Metropolitan Police officers confronted and Tasered him on Chelsea Bridge.

Omishore died on June 6 – two days after he jumped into the river after police were called to reports of a man ‘armed with a screwdriver and shouting’.

And now the Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog has confirmed that he was in fact holding a firelighter when he was approached by the police. 

Omishore was Tasered more than once by the officers, the IOPC confirmed.

Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore, 41, was armed with a plastic firelighter when he was Tasered by police, jumped in the River Thames, and later died

The man was in a confrontation with police officers from the Met on Chelsea Bridge onJ une 4

The man was in a confrontation with police officers from the Met on Chelsea Bridge on June 4

They said: ‘We have confirmed Mr Omishore was holding a plastic and metal firelighter when he was approached by two officers on Chelsea Bridge. The initial report to police stated he had a screwdriver. 

‘A Taser was discharged by one of the officers prior to the man entering the river. It has been confirmed the Taser was discharged more than once.’

Footage of the incident appeared to show one of the officers fire a Taser, causing the man to fall to the floor.

Officers reportedly Tasered him twice more before he appeared to jump over railings into the River Thames below.

The 41-year-old was described by a neighbour, who said they saw police searching his flat, as a ‘really nice guy’.

The man was ‘challenged’ by officers on the Chelsea Bridge before a Taser was discharged, but this ‘did not enable the officers to safely detain him’, police said.

An eyewitness previously told MailOnline how Mr Omishore had been yelling ‘incomprehensible’ religious statements as he was walked towards the bridge in central London.

He was shouting at passers-by for five minutes before the police arrived and appeared to be clutching what Scotland Yard said was a screwdriver – which is now confirmed to be a firelighter. 

The officers tried to subdue him by allegedly tasering him three times on the bridge but he vaulted the barrier before climbing over the bridge and dropping into the Thames.

Police were called to the scene in Chelsea Bridge Road, west London, at 9.03am on June 4 after receiving reports that a man was armed with a screwdriver and shouting

Police were called to the scene in Chelsea Bridge Road, west London, at 9.03am on June 4 after receiving reports that a man was armed with a screwdriver and shouting

The 41-year-old was described by a neighbour, who said they saw police searching his flat, as a 'really nice guy'

The 41-year-old was described by a neighbour, who said they saw police searching his flat, as a ‘really nice guy’

A woman who lives nearby told how he was struggling to breath in the water and was swept beyond Vauxhall Bridge by the tide before he was pulled out by the RNLI at Lambeth Pier.

She said: ‘I heard someone shouting as they walked past my flat and I came out to see what the commotion was.

‘There was a large man, who looked to be over 6ft tall, shouting at people in the street by the bridge.

‘I couldn’t make out what he was saying as it was all quite incomprehensible but one word I did hear was “God”. He was making religious references but what it mean I couldn’t tell.

‘He was clearly in a distressed state and was brandishing something. The police later told me it was a screwdriver, but I have to say it didn’t look like that to me. It looked like a small metal bar of some sort.

‘When the two officers arrived he ran onto the bridge and because of his size they tried to subdue him with taser. I saw them use it at least twice but it didn’t incapacitate him.

The IOPC watchdog has confirmed that he was not holding a screwdriver, but instead it was a plastic and metal firelighter (stock image pictured)

The IOPC watchdog has confirmed that he was not holding a screwdriver, but instead it was a plastic and metal firelighter (stock image pictured) 

The Met Police offered their 'sincere condolences' to Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore's family

The Met Police offered their ‘sincere condolences’ to Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore’s family 

‘Instead he managed to run off, leap a barrier and jumped into the river. It was awful to see.

‘At some point I saw his head and shoulders come up above the water and he was bobbing around struggling to breath. The tide was strong and he wasn’t able to swim.

‘It took him out past Vauxhall Bridge, the next bridge along. He was pulled from the water just beyond there.’

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: ‘Our thoughts remain with Mr Omishore’s family and all of those affected by his death. We continue to liaise with his family and to keep them updated on the progress of our independent investigation.

‘Our investigators continue to gather and analyse key evidence, including footage recorded at the scene and initial accounts from officers and members of the public. We would urge anyone else who may have witnessed or recorded any part of the incident, either on the bridge or after Mr Omishore entered the river, to get in touch with us without delay. It is important we understand all of the circumstances surrounding his death.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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