At the time the scuffle broke out, Special Const. McCormick had just taken out a tool with a closed 10-centimetre serrated blade to remove the drawstring from Mr. Hyde’s shorts.
A barely distinguishable comment on the audio recording — that Kevin MacDonald, a lawyer representing Mr. Hyde’s sister, interpreted as, “We’re just going to cut one of those balls off” — apparently refers to a knot at the end of the drawstring.
Mr. Hyde became agitated at that point as Special Const. McCormick and two of his colleagues — all of whom are over six feet tall and weigh more than 200 pounds — struggled to subdue him. The struggle ended in a nearby hallway, where Mr. Hyde’s heart stopped before police revived him with CPR.
I don’t know about you, but if someone is approaching me with a serrated blade and says “We’re just going to cut one of those balls off”, I don’t immediately think that person is planning to cut the drawstring to my shorts. I might freak out a bit and panic, too. Even without the paranoia that often accompanies a schizophrenic episode, which is the condition Mr. Hyde was in at the time. I’d probably freak out enough that I’d be “doing the effing dance”, as some officer politely describes being tasered on the same tape.