An inquest into the death of a 31-year-old Billings man began Tuesday with testimony from 10 witnesses, including several police officers who described the man as having "superhuman strength."
Ryan Bain died Oct. 12, 2010, two days after violent struggles with police and jail officers. Officers used a stun gun on Bain four times.
The officers first encountered Bain as he ran naked through a Billings neighborhood late on the evening of Oct. 10.
Bain went into cardiac arrest at the county jail about an hour later, and he died at St. Vincent Healthcare about 43 hours later, after he was taken off life support.
The coroner's inquest, which is required any time a person dies in police custody, is expected to finish Wednesday afternoon. Big Horn County Coroner Terry Bullis is presiding over the hearing, which was attended Tuesday by numerous members of Bain's family.
The seven-member jury of six women and one man will provide an advisory verdict on whether Bain's death should result in criminal charges. Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito will make the final determination.
Throughout the day on Tuesday, officers involved in the incident gave similar accounts of Bain's bizarre and violent behavior. Several patrol car videos and videos from inside the county jail were shown to jurors during the day.
Sheriff's Deputy John Smith testified that he was off duty and on his way home at about 11:20 p.m. on Oct. 10 when he saw a naked man running through a neighborhood on 13th Street West.
Smith said he followed the man and called police dispatchers on his cell phone.
When the man ran inside a home, Smith said he was worried for the occupants and parked his van to check out the house.
As he approached the house, the naked man bolted from the front door and jumped into Smith's van, which he had left running.
Smith said he chased his van for several blocks before it stopped.
"He's crazy," Smith yelled into his cell phone as he watched his van being driven off, striking several parked cars along the way. "They're going to have to Tase this guy."
Bain stopped the van in the street, jumped out and began running around again, Smith said. As Bain ran by, Smith tackled him in a front yard just as Billings police Sgt. Pat Curry arrived.
The two men struggled with Bain to get him in handcuffs. Smith said Bain had "superhuman strength."
Curry, a former professional football player who said he weighs 330 pounds, told the jury he used his weight to pin Bain to the ground and get him handcuffed.
Officers Brandon Ihde, Nathan West and Tom Keightley showed up and walked Bain to a patrol car.
Bain appeared calm, telling officers he had been smoking methamphetamine and he wanted to "kiss his baby goodbye."
The officers said Bain began resisting again when sitting on the back seat. He kicked at the officers, arched his body and refused to pull his legs inside. Both Keightley and Ihde said they first tried using "distraction blows" to force Bain to comply. Ihde said he hit Bain in the leg about five times, and Keightley delivered about the same number of blows to Bain's ribs.
Keightley said he then shocked Bain with his Taser to try to get Bain to stop kicking and pull his feet into the car, but the Taser was not effective. He applied the electric shock device to Bain's shoulder, he said.
Ihde then used his Taser on the opposite shoulder with similar results. In one video, Bain can be heard screaming at least once while being shocked, though the officers said Bain did not stop resisting.
Ihde used his Taser again on Bain's leg, and again to no avail, he said. Finally, West pulled Bain into the back seat by reaching through the opposite door.
Keightley drove Bain to the jail, and a video shows the man in the back seat constantly moving. Keightley said Bain admitted during the drive to having smoked methamphetamine.
Another struggle ensued at the jail, where Bain resisted being placed into a restraint chair. County jail Sgt. Dan Rickett said he warned Bain before using his Taser to shock Bain in the leg.
Again, the shock had little effect, he said.
"He looked at me, that's about the effect it had," Rickett said.
Officers used physical force during a struggle that lasted about five minutes to get Bain secured in the chair.
Jail nurse Rosemary Ganzeveld told the jury she checked Bain's blood pressure and pulse, which she said was elevated but did not concern her given reports of Bain's drug use and the fight she witnessed with officers at the jail.
Bain was wheeled into a holding cell. Several minutes later, as officers stood nearby, Bain became unresponsive and stopped breathing. West and others performed CPR before an ambulance crew arrived and took him took him hospital.
Several doctors who treated Bain, and the pathologist who performed the autopsy, are scheduled to testify Wednesday.