It happened just after 4 a.m. Wednesday morning after officers were sent to the bus station on Person Street to deal with a person calling 911 repeatedly from pay phones in the building.
When they arrived, they found a man on the phone with a 911 dispatcher. Officers attempted to arrest the man for misusing the system, but they said he resisted and a physical confrontation ensued.
Family members identified the man as 47-year-old Jeffrey Cox of Asbury Park, NJ, and said he suffers from a paranoid schizophrenic mental condition.
Cox was on his way home from Florida when he stopped off in Fayetteville. Cox's family said he was mugged on December 23 and 24 and lost all his money and was stranded in Fayetteville. He also either ran out of his medication or stopped taking it.
He was apparently calling 911 because he was delusional and feared bus station employees were about to attack him.
Witnesses to the incident Wednesday morning said Cox was repeatedly hit with stun guns and beaten by officers. He was unconscious at the scene, but was resuscitated and taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where he was on life support after apparently suffering cardiac arrest.
At least three officers sustained minor injuries during the struggle.
An internal investigation into what happened is ongoing. The six officers involved have been placed on routine administrative duty in the meantime.
Earlier this year, a Fayetteville man died after being shot with a Taser.
A report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said 56-year-old Michael Evans died from a cocaine overdose - and he had more than four times the lethal amount of the drug in his system when he was shot with a Taser on Aug. 25.
The report said the electric shock from the Taser contributed to the death.
Officers said they were trying to take Evans into custody because he was trying to jump in front of cars.
Fayetteville police stopped using Tasers after the death, but resumed use of the weapon after checking to make sure they were functioning properly.