LOS ANGELES — Adult performer Sledge Hammer died early this morning at the age of 39, director Stoney Curtis, his close friend of 20 years, confirmed to XBIZ.
Sledge Hammer, whose legal name was Marland Anderson, had been in a coma since Monday morning after an altercation with police on Sunday nightthat resulted in him being shot with a Taser gun, Curtis said.
According to Curtis, Anderson had been dealing with various forms of depression during the last several years, and his marijuana use madethedepression worse.
“It turned out he genetically had a mild form of schizophrenia, and it wasn’t a problem until he started smoking pot and taking various things for depression,” Curtis explained. “It got worse and he would have thoughts of extremeparanoia and anxiety.”
On Sunday night in Reseda, Anderson suffered a severe anxiety attack and his girlfriend called 911 to prevent him from harming himself.
“She felt as though he was mentally unstable,” Curtissaid. “Shewas requesting an ambulance to come get him, but the police showed up with an ambulanceandthepolice walked him down to the ambulance.”
According to the information Curtis received, Anderson did not want to be inside the ambulance and his anxiety worsened, so the ambulancepersonnellet himout andcalled the police back to the residence.
“The police came and instead of trying to talk to him or grab him and get him to the ground or the paramedics giving him a sedative, they decided to break out their tasers and just tasered him excessively until the point where he went into cardiac arrest,” Curtis said. “After he went into cardiac arrest, they rushed him to the hospital and revived him. But they estimated that his heart had stopped beating for 10 minutes. They got his heart beating again and put him on a respirator, but he had massiveswelling in thebrain from the loss of oxygen.”
Anderson fought for his life all week, Curtis said, but doctors told Anderson’s mother that he likely would never come out of the coma and if he did, he would not regain cognitive functions. So Anderson’s mother decided to take him off the respirator Thursday night.
“The family felt as though he was never going to be the sameand never going to wake up, so the mother made the decision to pull the respirator, it was her call,” Curtiscontinued. “He passed away at 5 o’clock in the morning at Northridge Hospital.”
Anderson, who was born in Seattle, performed in morethan 800 porn moviessince1995, but no one knew him and his work better than Curtis,who madehima star withhis numerous scenes for Celestial Productions and then Lethal Hardcore.
“You won’t find too many people that would have a bad thing to say about Marland. He was a very warm-hearted, funny guy who loved his comic books, loved heavy metal, and was very respectful to every girl he ever worked with,” Curtissaid. “And I think most of the guys that worked with him would say the same.”
Curtis met Anderson at the Pizza Hut where Anderson worked not long after graduating from high school in Mission Viejo, Calif.
“He didn’t have much confidence in himself, but I looked at him and said you should have all the confidence in the world in yourself,” Curtis recalled. “Theguy wasbuilt likea brick-house. I wasn’t even in porno yet and the two of us knew each other. I’m probably his oldest friend and I just feel horrible.”
Curtis said he is in the process of initiating a full-scale investigation into the incident that caused Anderson to be subdued by police.
“We believe there was excessive force used and investigators and attorneys will be called to get to the bottom of what happened to Marland Anderson,” Curtissaid. “Stoney Curtis will see to it that he does not die in vain.
“What I would like to see is a separate number called for people with psychiatric issues where the police are not involved, because the police do not how to handle someone who is having a mental breakdown. They just break out their clubs and tasers. People shouldn’t be dying just because they are having a mental breakdown.”
He added, “Marlon was not a violent person. He had no police record, none. He had no weapon on him. They were the ones that walked him down to the ambulance. Hewas already frisked. They knew he wasn’t armed. Why did he get tasered so much. If they wouldn’t have done that, Marland Anderson would still be alive today