Les 167 cas de mort recensés aux Etats-Unis et au Canada après usage d’un Taser entre 1999 et 2006 par le journal le plus populaire d’Arizona, AzCentral, pays d’origine de l’entreprise Taser international, au 5 janvier 2006
Par Robert Anglen
The Arizona Republic
The Arizona Republic, using computer searches, autopsy reports, police reports, media reports and Taser’s own records, has identified 167 cases in the United States and Canada of death following a police Taser strike since September 1999. In 27 cases, medical examiners said Tasers were a cause, a contributing factor or could not be ruled out in someone’s death. In 35 cases, coroners and other officials reported the stun gun was not a factor. Below is a synopsis of each case. The Republic requested autopsy reports for all of the cases and so far has received 50.
1. David Flores, 37, Fairfield, Calif.
Sept. 28, 1999
A private investigator, Flores died after being shocked three times during a scuffle with police. Flores suffered a heart attack. Toxicology results indicate Flores died from agitated delirium due to acute cocaine and methamphetamine intoxication.
2. Enrique Juarez Ochoa, 34, Bakersfield, Calif.
May 14, 2000
Police responded to a call from Ochoa’s mother, who said her son was acting strangely. Police shocked and handcuffed Ochoa and placed him face down on the ground for 15-20 minutes. Officers transported him to a medical center for evaluation. About 15 minutes later, officers noticed that he had stopped moving. Autopsy report lists cause of death as disseminated intravascular coagulation due to blunt impact trauma while in a hyper-excitable state and cocaine toxicity.
3. Mark Burkett, 18, Gainesville, Fla.
June 17, 2001
Burkett, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, collapsed after struggling with officers at a county jail. Burkett was shocked with a Taser and became unresponsive. He died four days after being placed on life support. Autopsy report lists cause of death as acute exhaustive mania, meaning he worked himself into a frenzy that caused him to suffer a cardiac arrest Toxicology exam revealed no traces of cocaine, methamphetamine or steroids. Coroner notes that mania in psychiatric patients can lead to death. Coroner reports family history of paranoid schizophrenia.
4. Hannah Rogers-Grippi, 6-month-old fetus, Chula Vista, Calif.
Dec. 15, 2001
Police shocked a 36-year-old pregnant woman in the back for refusing to follow orders. At the hospital, fetal heart sounds were heard during the examination. Two days later, an exam revealed that the fetus had died. Autopsy report lists cause of death as intrauterine fetal demise. Maternal methamphetamine use was a contributing factor. The coroner said It was difficult to make a causative link between the Taser event and the intrauterine fetal death.
5. Marvin Hendrix, 27, Hamilton, Ohio
Dec. 17, 2001
Hendrix was fighting with paramedics at his house. A police officer shocked him twice. Two minutes after being shocked, he lost consciousness. An autopsy revealed Hendrix swallowed a bag of crack cocaine about seven hours before he died. The cause of death was cocaine toxicity. The medical examiner reported "the exact role of Taser in this individual’s demise is unknown."
6. Steven Vasquez, 40, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Dec. 21, 2001
Vasquez was shocked during an altercation with police who were attempting to escort him out of a bar. A medical examiner said he died four days later as a result of drug toxicity, due to a mixture of pain medication. Coroner says Taser shocks were not a contributing factor in the death.
7. Vincent Delostia, 31, Hollywood, Fla.
Jan. 27, 2002
Delostia was running around in traffic then ran into the lobby of a hotel where he refused to leave. When police arrived, he lay down and kicked at officers. He was shocked, rolled onto his stomach and handcuffs were placed around his arms and legs. After 30 seconds of restraint, he stopped breathing. The coroner said the cause of death was cocaine toxicity and notes a history of bipolar disorder. Says Delostia exhibited multiple signs of excited delirium.
8. Anthony Spencer, 35, Philadelphia
Feb. 12, 2002
Police, responding to a domestic disturbance, used pepper spray and Tasers to subdue Spencer, who was brandishing a knife. He died in an ambulance en route to the hospital. City officials said tests reportedly found that the death was due to cocaine intoxication and that shocks from a Taser were not a contributing factor.
9. Henry Canady, 46, Hilliard, Fla.
March 27, 2002
Canady was shocked after he fled deputies who were attempting to arrest him on drug charges. The coroner said the cause of death was cocaine toxicity and artery disease. The stress of his struggle with police might have contributed to his death.
10. Richard Baralla, 36, Pueblo, Colo.
May 17, 2002
Police arrested Baralla after he was seen walking down a street exhibiting strange behavior. Officers sprayed him with chemical spray, shocked him with Taser and handcuffed his legs and arms behind his back. During the struggle he stopped breathing. Autopsy report says death was caused by cardiac arrest during a state of excited delirium that necessitated restraint.
11. Eddie Alvarado, 32, Los Angeles
June 10, 2002
Alvarado died after being shot five times with a Taser by Los Angeles police officers in 2002. He was fighting with officers after having a seizure. The coroner said he died from a mixture of methamphetamine and cocaine while being restrained. The coroner said the stun gun could not be ruled out as a cause of death and indicated a relationship between the Taser and Alvarado’s heart attack.
12. Clever Craig, 46, Mobile, Ala.
June 28, 2002
Relatives called 911 because Craig was acting strangely. Police found the 6-foot, 200-pound Craig holding a barbell. When he refused to drop it, officers shocked him twice in about 40 seconds. According to police, Craig struggled for five minutes. The autopsy report says Craig died of a heart attack during an episode of delirium "following electrical shock from Taser while resisting arrest."
13. Jason Nichols, 21, Oklahoma City, Okla.
June 15, 2002
Nichols was involved in a family fight. He struggled with police officers who shocked him with a Taser. He was taken to a hospital with various wounds from the fight and died 13 minutes later. The Cause of death was listed as head injuries. The coroner said it was extremely unlikely that the Taser played a part in the death. Drug tests were negative for all but a slight trace of marijuana.
14. Fermin Rincon, 24, Fontana, Calif.
June 27, 2002
Died after a struggle with police at a business complex. Officers reportedly shocked Rincon three times and placed him in a chokehold in order to subdue him. A coroner reported that Rincon died because of prolonged methamphetamine abuse. He suffered a cardiac arrest. An autopsy report said the cause of Rincon’s death was acute cardiac arrhythmia due to methamphetamine use.
15. Unknown male, 39, Phoenix
An unidentified man found bleeding in the driveway of a home near 80th Avenue and Osborn Road became combative with police officers responding to a domestic violence call. Police shocked the man and put him in handcuffs. He went into cardiac arrest and died at Maryvale hospital. According to Taser International, the man had a cardiac arrest due to a drug overdose.
16. Johnney Lozoya, age unknown, Gardena, Calif.
July 19, 2002
Lozoya was seen running on the roof of a convalescent home. A few minutes later, police received reports that he was jumping on a parked car. Officers found Lozoya unconscious in the street and he was taken to a hospital, where he awoke and became combative. An officer shocked him. Several minutes later he died. An autopsy report shows Lozoya died of hypoxic encephalopathy, cardiac arrest and cocaine intoxication. But the medical examiner reported, "one cannot exclude the Taser causing the above damage to the tissues, specifically, the heart."
17. Gordon Jones, 37, Windermere, Fla.
July 19, 2002
Jones was drunk in a hotel lobby. When Orange County Sheriff’s deputies ordered him to leave, he dumped his clothes from a duffle bag. He struggled with deputies who shocked him repeatedly until they were able to place him in handcuffs. He walked with deputies to an ambulance and died on the way to the hospital. A coroner reported that Jones died from positional asphyxia, suffocating while being restrained. The coroner said Taser strikes likely made it hard for Jones to breathe. Nine months later, county officials requested a second opinion, which concluded that Jones died primarily from cocaine-induced excited delirium, not from being shot 11 times.
18. Frederick Webber, 44, Orange City, Fla.
Sept. 1, 2002
A husband and father of four, Webber was involved in a fight at a campground. Police arrived and Webber refused to comply with their orders. Police say he resisted arrest and they shocked him multiple times. He was handcuffed with his hands behind his back when police realized he had stopped breathing. The autopsy report says he died of cardiac arrhythmia due to cocaine-induced agitated delirium while being restrained.
19. Stephen Edwards, 59, Shelton, Wash.
Nov. 7, 2002
Edwards fought with a store security officer and police officers attempting to arrest him on a shoplifting charge. A police officer shocked the 300-pound man four times when he reached for a gun in the waistband of his pants. After putting him in handcuffs, officers saw that Edwards had stopped breathing. A coroner said he died of a heart attack due to diabetes and obesity. The coroner said Taser was not a factor.
20. Unknown male, 31, Albuquerque, New Mexico
March 16, 2003
Officers were called about a man jumping on parked cars and breaking windows. He resisted arrest and fought with police, who used chemical spray, a baton and a Taser to subdue him. The suspect died after being arrested. According to Taser International, the man died of drugs and ethanol intoxication. Taser reports that toxicology tests showed amphetamines, cocaine and marijuana.
21. Terrance Hanna, 51, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
April 19, 2003
Hanna barged into a hotel holding a knife and hammer. A Burnaby Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer shot him with a Taser. His heart stopped. An autopsy report has not been released. The British Columbia Coroners Service has scheduled an inquiry into Hanna’s death for December. Taser International says preliminary reports indicate Hanna died of a cocaine overdose. A coroner reported that Hanna’s death was caused by acute cocaine intoxication and heart disease. The coroner also listed police restraint as a contributing factor in the death, but focused on the way officers hog-tied Hanna.
22. Joshua Hollander, 22, Normal Heights, Calif.
May 10, 2003
He stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death and then slashed his wrists. Police found him in the bathroom. Despite his wounds, he struggled with police who used a carotid restraint and shocked him with a Taser. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Autopsy report lists cause of death as suicide. Coroner says he died as a result of a cardiac arrest due to slashed wrists. The coroner says the carotid restraint and Taser did not contribute to death and notes Hollander continued to talk 30 minutes after being shocked.
23. Timothy Sleet, 44, Springfield, Mo.
June 9, 2003
Police responded to a 911 call from a child saying her father was killing her mother. Sleet had stabbed his wife to death after she stabbed him with a kitchen knife. Police said he refused to obey commands. They used Taser, beanbag gun, baton, chemical spray and then piled on top of him in an attempt to subdue him. He lost consciousness and died. A coroner said Sleet died from a cardiac arrest from stress while officers tried to restrain him. The coroner said Sleet was in a state of psychosis due to PCP intoxication.
24. Clay Willey, 33, Prince George, British Columbia
July 22, 2003
Willey died after an altercation at a mall. Police, who said Wiley was exhibiting strange behavior, shot him with a Taser while trying to get him into an ambulance. He died 16 hour later. A jury at a coroner’s inquest ruled that Willey died as the result of an accidental cocaine overdose. The jury also recommended that Royal Canadian Mounted Police give serious consideration to a report looking at Taser use that calls for standardized training and reporting.
25. Troy Nowell, 51, Amarillo, Texas
Aug. 4, 2003
Police said Nowell assaulted two elderly women and a man outside of a union hall. When police arrived, Nowell resisted arrest and was shocked multiple times. City officials said an autopsy report cleared the Taser as a cause of death. They said Nowell had a heart attack during a violent struggle. They said it was due to arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease. A grand jury cleared officers.
26. John Thompson, 45, Carrollton Township, Mich.
Aug. 8, 2003
Became violent during a card game with friends. Police were called. They shocked him multiple times with a Taser. He was taken to jail where he struggled with officers. Later, while in an isolation cell, Johnson seemed unresponsive. He was taken to a hospital and later died. A coroner said Thompson’s death was not a result of physical force but said the cause of death was unknown.
27. Gordon Rauch, 39, Citrus Heights, Calif.
Aug. 17, 2003
Rauch’s father called to report that his son was threatening to kill him. Police officers said Rauch charged at them. Two officers shot him with Tasers. He fell to the ground and went limp as officers put him in cuffs. He died about an hour later. The autopsy report is unavailable. Police said Rauch’s prescribed psychotropic drugs might have contributed to his death.
28. Ray Austin, 25, Gwinnett, Ga.
Sept. 24, 2003
Austin was incarcerated and awaiting trial on a parole violation when he got into a scuffle with a deputy at the Gwinnet County Jail. He bit off a portion of the deputy’s ear and was shocked three times with a Taser. He was restrained in a chair and given psychotropic drugs. He lost consciousness and died. Austin had a history of mental illness. A preliminary autopsy could not determine the cause of death. A coroner reported that physical restraint might have impaired breathing.
29. Glenn Leyba, 37, Glendale, Colo.
Sept. 29, 2003
Police were called to Leyba’s apartment by firefighters who said he was out of control. When Leyba refused medical treatment, a police officer shot him with a Taser. Police said he was on the ground and kicking and thrashing at officers, who shocked Leyba repeatedly. He stopped breathing. Autopsy report lists cause of death as a cardiac arrest during cocaine-induced agitated delirium. Coroner said the Taser is not a contributing factor.
30. Clark Whitehouse, 34, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Royal Canadian Mounted police reported that Whitehorse fled on foot while attempting to swallow drugs. Police officers used a Taser to subdue him A short time later, he appeared to be having trouble breathing. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Yukon Coroner’s Service is not making the autopsy public. An inquest is pending.
31. Roman Pierson, 40, Brea, Calif.
Oct. 7, 2003
Pierson was shocked twice after running through traffic and breaking into an ice machine at a supermarket. He had been complaining that he was hot and thirsty. Four police officers ordered Pierson to lie down and shocked him when he refused. Police said he took a fighting stance. The autopsy report lists cause of death as cardiac arrest due to acute methamphetamine intoxication. Notes coronary artery disease.
32. Dennis Hammond, 31, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Oct. 11, 2003
Hammond was walking down the street screaming at the sky. When police arrived, he was perched on a brick mailbox. When officers approached, he would scream at them. Officer shot Hammond three times with a beanbag shotgun and five times with a Taser. After being handcuffed, he turned blue and stopped breathing. The autopsy report lists cause of death as acute methamphetamine intoxication. The coroner said the beanbags and Taser shocks were significant but did not have an immediate role in Hammond’s death.
33. Louis Morris, 50, Orlando, Fla.
Oct. 21, 2003
Morris drove erratically through the parking lot of a supermarket. When approached by store security officers, he said a passenger in the van needed medical attention but nobody else was in the van. He went into the store and started yelling. When officers arrived, he fled to a nearby convenience store where police shot him with a Taser. After he was handcuffed, the man started banging his head on the ground. Officers turned him over and saw he was in distress. The autopsy report lists cause of death as cocaine excited delirium, a sudden collapse from cardiac arrhythmia brought on by restraint. A pre-existing heart disease contributed.
34. James Borden, 47, Monroe County, Ind.
Nov. 6, 2003
On the eve of his father’s funeral, Borden was arrested on a minor violation. Although officers were supposed to transport him to a hospital, he was taken to jail instead. Upon arrival at the jail, Borden did not follow commands of jailers. He was first shot with a Taser for initially refusing to pull up his pants. A jailer shocked him repeatedly until he collapsed and died. The autopsy report lists cause of death as a heart attack due to an enlarged heart, pharmacologic intoxication and electrical shocks from Taser. The jailer who shocked Borden has been charged with two counts of felony battery, including battery while armed with a deadly weapon.
35. Michael Johnson, 32, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Nov. 10, 2003
Officers responding to a burglary call found Johnson sitting in a chair. When he did not respond, they shocked him with a Taser. Officers said Johnson began struggling after being shocked. He was shocked multiple times and two minutes later he stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest. He was placed on a ventilator and died 22 hours later. Autopsy lists cause of death as acute congestive heart failure due to cocaine-induced sudden cardiac arrest. The coroner said it appears to be a case of agitated delirium. He said the drugs caused the heart attack, not the restraint.
36. Kerry O’Brien, 31, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Nov. 11, 2003
O’Brien was banging on cars in an intersection. Police shocked him with a Taser. He was hogtied before dying. A coroner determined that O’Brien died as a result of being hogtied, saying he was a victim of positional asphyxia, meaning he suffocated while being restrained. The coroner ruled the death as accidental. The coroner also concluded that Taser did not contribute to O’Brien’s death. The case is being investigated by the Broward State Attorney’s office.
37. Curtis Lawson, 40, Unadilla, Ga.
Dec. 9, 2003
Lawson confronted a woman at a gas station then fled to a hotel room. When police asked him to come out he refused. Police entered the hotel room and Lawson struggled with officers, who shocked him twice with a Taser and sprayed him with pepper spray. He died about 15 minutes after being arrested. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation concluded that Lawson died from acute cocaine toxicity. An enlarged heart contributed to his death.
38. Lewis King, 39, St. Augustine, Fla.
Dec. 9, 2003
King fled deputies who stopped his car over a broken taillight and began questioning him about a pill bottle. In attempting to get away, police say he dragged a deputy with his car. Officers shocked him twice with a Taser. He was subdued after a struggle and secured face down. He went into full cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at the hospital. The autopsy report lists cause of death as cardiac arrest following prone restraint by police. King had a history of heart disease and an enlarged heart.
39. David Glowczenski, 35, Southampton Village, N.Y.
Feb. 4, 2004
Glowczenski, who had a history of mental illness and had been twice institutionalized, was shouting and wandering two blocks from his home. When officers approached, he began struggling. Officer sprayed Glowczenski with chemical spray and shocked him multiple times with a Taser. Glowczenski kicked and screamed even after he was placed on his stomach with his hands cuffed behind his back. He suddenly stopped and died. A preliminary autopsy was unable to determine the cause of death. A Suffolk County medical examiner said Glowczenski died from exhaustive mania due to schizophrenia.
40. Raymond Siegler, 40, Minneapolis, Minn.
Feb. 12, 2004
Siegler was living in a group home for the mentally ill. While celebrating his engagement, Siegler consumed some alcohol and created a disturbance. Police were called because Siegler reportedly threatened other residents. Siegler, who suffered from paranoia, panicked when he saw police. Officers shocked him multiple times with a Taser. He suffered a cardiac arrest. Siegler’s family says he went into cardiac arrest immediately after being shocked and remained in a coma until they removed life support about a week after the incident. The autopsy report has not been released.
41. Curt Rostengale, 44, Silverdale, Wash.
Feb. 21, 2004
Rostengale was shocked twice with a Taser during a struggle with police at his apartment. Police say Rostengale was breaking glass and banging on door of the complex. An officer ordered Rostengale to stop and shocked him with a Taser when he refused. He continued struggling with officers and was shocked again. A coroner reported that Rostengale died as a result of cocaine abuse and said Taser was not a factor.
42. William Lomax, 26, Las Vegas, Nev.
Feb. 21, 2004
Lomax died after being shocked multiple times during a struggle with police and private security at a public housing complex. A jury at a coroner’s inquest ruled that the Taser contributed his death. The Clark County Coroner says the death raises questions about the way Tasers are used. Lomax was high on PCP, a stimulant known for its ability to spark aggression. The coroner said multiple Taser bursts prevented Lomax from being able to breathe and ultimately contributed to a cardiac arrest. Doctors could not say if Lomax would have died if the Taser had not been used.
43. Perry Ronald, 28, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
March 23, 2004
Ronald suffered a head injury during a fight at a friend’s house. Afterward, police were called about a man jumping on cars and blocking traffic. It took several officers, who shocked Ronald with a Taser, to place him in custody. He was transported to a hospital to have his head injury examined and suffered a heart attack. He died a week later. A preliminary autopsy could not determine the cause of death. The autopsy report is unavailable.
44. Terry Williams, 45, Madison, Ill.
March 28, 2004
Police, responding to a domestic violence call, shocked Williams when he refused to follow commands and resisted arrest. He was placed in a police car and transported to the police station where he was found to be unresponsive. A preliminary autopsy did not reveal the cause of death.
45. Phillip LaBlanc, 36, Los Angeles, Calif.
April 1, 2005
A security guard reported that LaBlanc was acting strangely. The guard persuaded LaBlanc to sit by the curb and handcuffed him to a chain-link fence. When police arrived, LeBlanc became aggressive. Although he was still handcuffed to the fence, officers shocked him at least twice with a Taser to subdue him. He became unresponsive, stopped breathing and was pronounced dead at the hospital. A coroner reported in an autopsy that LeBlanc died of excited delirium and cocaine intoxication.
46. Melvin Samuel, 28, Savannah, Ga.
April 16, 2004
Samuel called police to report a burglary. He was subsequently arrested on a warrant for failing to pay a traffic ticket and taken to a Houston County jail. Jail officials said he was uncooperative and were forced to shock Samuel twice with Taser while moving him out of a holding cell. About 10 minutes later, Samuel became unresponsive. An autopsy found that Samuel asphyxiated after being hog-tied on his stomach. A Georgia Bureau of Investigation autopsy report said the Taser was not a factor in the death.
47. Alfredo Diaz, 29, Orange County, Fla.
April 18, 2004
Sheriff’s Deputies were responding to a 911 call about a man running naked in the street. Diaz’s brother also called 911 and reported that someone had slipped acid into his drink and that he was going crazy. Deputies approached Alfredo Diaz and tried to calm and restrain him. Diaz reportedly struggled with deputies and threatened to kill them. Deputies sprayed him with pepper spray and then shocked him with a Taser. After he was handcuffed, Diaz started having problems breathing. He was taken to a hospital where he died. A coroner in an autopsy report said that Taser contributed to Diaz’s death. The coroner said Diaz died from LSD-induced psychosis with hyperthermia. "A contributing significant condition is that he was subdued by police with a struggle and Tazed."
48. Eric Wolle, 45, Washington Grove, Md.
April 27, 2004
Diagnosed as a bipolar schizophrenic, Wolle panicked when he saw a car stop outside his house. Believing that nameless agents were coming to get him, he fled his house and his mother called police. Officers stopped Wolle, who was carrying a machete in the waistband of his pants and ordered him to the ground. Wolle refused and officers shocked him twice with a Taser. He continued to struggle then lost consciousness. A preliminary autopsy found Wolle died of cardiac arrhythmia during a state of psychosis. Police said Taser shocks did not contribute to his death.
49. Roman Andreichik, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
May 1, 2004
Shocked during a struggle with police at an apartment. He died shortly after being shocked. His death is under investigation. The autopsy report has not been released.
50. Peter Lamonday, 38, London, Ontario, Canada
May 13, 2004
Police received complaints that Lamonday, a landscape worker, was breaking windows and doors of businesses. When police confronted him, Lamonday reportedly swung at officers, who sprayed him with chemical spray and punched him. Seven officers forced Lamonday to the ground and he was shocked several times with a Taser. He stopped breathing about 20 minutes after being placed in handcuffs. A probe by a police watchdog group concluded that Lamonday died of cocaine-induced delirium and said the Taser was not to blame. A coroner also reported that Taser was not involved in the death.
51. Henry Lattarulo, 40, Hillsborough County, Fla.
May 22, 2004
Sheriff’s deputies were called to a trailer park on a report that a man was trying to stab people with a screwdriver. They reportedly found Lattarulo fighting with a friend. He refused to follow commands and officers shocked him with a Taser. He reportedly pulled the barbs out and kept fighting. Deputies restrained him, placed him in handcuffs and leg restraints and Lattarulo stopped breathing. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the death was caused by cocaine-induced excited delirium.
52. Frederick Williams, 31, Lawrenceville, Ga.
May 27, 2004
Williams died after being shocked with a Taser at the Gwinnett County Jail. The computer technician, who had epilepsy, was acting strangely when police officers responded to a domestic violence call at his house. He was shocked during a struggle with jail officers and died a shot time later. A coroner said he died of brain damage from a heart attack, but the cause of the heart attack could not be determined. The coroner said there is no evidence that five shocks from a Taser caused or contributed to Williams’ death.
53. Darryl Smith, 46, Atlanta
May 30, 2004
Smith was found unresponsive in the street and became violent with paramedics who responded to help him. A sheriff’s deputy used a Taser to subdue him, shocking Smith multiple times. Smith died about six hours later. A coroner says his death was caused by agitated delirium associated with acute cocaine poisoning.
54. Anthony Oliver, 42, Orlando, Fla.
May 31, 2004
Oliver stopped a police officer by banging on the back window of her patrol car. He told her people were pursuing him and going to shoot him. When officers attempted to talk to Oliver and move him out of traffic, he began struggling. Police reported that he attempted to pull the officer into traffic. An officer shocked him with a Taser. Oliver fell to the ground but got back up, and the officer shocked him seven more times. Oliver began foaming at the mouth and was taken to a hospital where he died. The coroner reported that Oliver died from cocaine-induced excited delirium.
55. Jerry Pickens, 55, Bridge City, La.
June 4, 2004
Police shocked Pickens while responding to a domestic violence call at his house. Pickens refused to comply with orders not to go back into his house. After being shocked, Pickens fell backwards and hit his head on his driveway. He went into a coma and died about a week later. A coroner said he died as a result of a brain hemorrhage because of the fall.
56. James Cobb, 42, St. Paul, Minn.
June 9, 2004
Two days after being released from prison on a robbery conviction, Cobb was walking in the middle of a rain-swept street shouting at motorists. Police ordered him out of the street and Cobb became combative. Officers sprayed him with chemical spray, shocked him multiple times with a Taser and hit him with a baton. He collapsed on the street and died. A preliminary autopsy report said he did not die as a result of blunt force trauma.
57. Jacob Lair, 26, Sparks, Nev.
June 9, 2004
Officers were attempting to question Lair at his home when the convicted robber and burglar became combative. Police sprayed Lair with chemical spray and shocked him with a Taser. He collapsed and died. The autopsy report shows he died of acute methamphetamine intoxication. A coroner says he suffered cardiac arrhythmia during a struggle with police involving Taser, pepper spray and restraints.
58. Robert Bagnell, 44, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
June 23, 2004
Police responding to a disturbance at a rooming house found Bagnell frenzied and destroying a washroom. Police shot him with a Taser and he stopped breathing and died at the scene. Police did not disclose the details surrounding Bagnell’s death for more than a month while waiting for toxicology reports. A preliminary autopsy could not determine the cause of death. A coroner said Bagnell might have had a lethal level of cocaine in his system.
59. Kris Lieberman, 32, Bushkill Twp., Penn.
June 24, 2004
Lieberman was found naked in a cornfield, crawling around and talking to himself. Officers said Lieberman lunged at them when they attempted to talk to him. They shocked him with a stun gun three times until he lost consciousness. Officers tried to revive him but he was pronounced dead a short time later. A medical examiner reported that Lieberman had high levels of cocaine in his system. The medical examiner also said the exertion of Lieberman’s fight with police - including shocks from a Taser and restraint - contributed to his death.
60. Bernard Christmas, 36, Dayton, Ohio
Police responded to reports that Christmas was running in circles in the middle of the street. When police arrived, the man reportedly jumped in the front seat of a patrol car. When police tried to remove the man from the car, he struggled and an officer shot him in the chest with a Taser. He stopped breathing and was transported to a hospital where he died. A coroner said the cause of death was a cardiac arrest due to cocaine-induced excited delirium.
61. Demetrius Tillman Nelson, 45, Okaloosa County, Fla.
July 3, 2004
Nelson got into an argument with his girlfriend after their car overheated in a parking lot. When police arrived, Nelson was argumentative and combative ; a struggle ensued and officers shocked him multiple times with a Taser. He reportedly talked to officers but developed trouble breathing. He was taken to a hospital where he died. The coroner reported that Nelson’s death was caused by cocaine-associated excited delirium.
62. Willie Smith, 48, Auburn, Wash.
July 11, 2004
Smith’s wife called 911 and said her husband had assaulted her. Police arrived at Smith’s apartment and ordered him to the floor. They said Smith refused and came at them. Two officers shocked him with Tasers. They arrested him and put him in a patrol car where he went into cardiac arrest. Smith’s reportedly told police that her husband was on a cocaine binge. The autopsy report is unavailable.
63. Jerry Knight, 29, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
July 17, 2004
Knight, a former semi-professional boxer, reportedly tore up a hotel room in a fit of rage. Police arrived and shocked Knight with a Taser when he refused to comply with their orders. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. According to police, Knight died of asphyxia while being restrained by police. Police reported that Knight was on cocaine and suffering from excited delirium. Police also reported that a forensic pathologist concluded that the Taser was not a factor in the death. An inquest has been scheduled to look into his death.
64. Milton Salazar, 29, Mesa
July 23, 2004
Hours after Salazar was released from the state prison on July 21, police said he reportedly threw rocks at motorists on Dobson Road then entered a convenience store and threw candy bars at the clerk. When an officer tried to arrest him, Salazar lay on the floor with his hands underneath his body and refused to obey commands. Officers shocked Salazar multiple times and when they rolled him over, he immediately turned white. Salazar was taken to Banner Desert Medical Center, where he died two days later. Police say chemical tests showed he had cocaine in his system. The medical examiner found that Salazar died of complications from excited delirium due to cocaine intoxication. The autopsy report said the shocks from Taser and the stress of his struggle with police contributed to Salazar’s death.
65. Keith Tucker, 47, Las Vegas
Aug 2, 2004
Tucker’s roommate called police saying Tucker was punching walls and talking to people not in the room. Police arrived and found Tucker sitting on his bed. They reported that Tucker punched and kicked officers as they approached. Officers shocked him with Tasers and placed him in handcuffs. Police reported that Tucker started having trouble breathing. He died at the hospital. The cause of death has not been determined. The autopsy report is unavailable.
66. Samuel Truscott, 43, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Aug. 8, 2004
Truscott reportedly overdosed on drugs and barricaded himself in a bedroom where he was armed with a knife and a bat. Police attempted to use chemical spray and when it didn’t have any affect, they shocked Truscott with a Taser. Police said Truscott walked unaided to a police car and was taken to hospital where he suffered a suffered a seizure and died. Ontario’s coroner said death was due to a drug overdose. He said the Taser was not to blame in any way. The autopsy report is unavailable.
67. Ernest Blackwell, 29, St. Louis, Mo.
Aug. 11, 2004
Blackwell, a former University of Missouri football star, went on a rampage, shooting his stepdaughter with a shotgun and beating a teenage neighbor girl and her mother. Officers said the 230-pound, six-foot-three Blackwell attempted to grab an officer’s gun during a struggle in which he was shocked twice with a Taser. Paramedics sedated him and Blackwell died on the way to the hospital. A coroner concluded that he died as a result of agitated delirium.
68. David Riley, 41, Joplin, Mo.
Aug. 11, 2004
Riley threatened to commit suicide and barricaded himself in a house. He had pulled a gas line from the back of the stove and turned on the valve, filling the house with gas. Riley was outside, but when two police officers arrived he started to run back inside. One of the officers deployed a Taser. The house subsequently exploded, killing Riley and wounding the two officers. Police are investigating what sparked the explosion. A Taser was recovered from the wreckage of the house.
69. Anthony Lee McDonald, 46, Harrisburg, N.C.
Aug. 13, 2004
McDonald’s mother called 911 to report her son was damaging his home. When police arrived, McDonald was breaking out the windows. Two officers entered and McDonald became aggressive. The officers shot him twice with a beanbag round and then wrestled with him. They shocked him with a Taser and he immediately had difficulty breathing. He died shortly after arriving at the hospital. The autopsy report is unavailable.
70. William Teasley, 31, Anderson, S.C.
Aug 16, 2004
Teasley was arrested for disorderly conduct. Deputies say he became violent while they tried to book him into jail. During a struggle, deputies shocked Teasley with a Taser. He stopped breathing. The coroner said Taser contributed directly to Teasley’s death, saying it was the proverbial last straw. The coroner said his heart, spleen and liver were enlarged, he had hardened arteries and an obstructed airway. "The added stress of Taser shock with its electrical current was proximal to the cardiac arrhythmia and must be considered contributory," the autopsy report states. The coroner says officials with Taser International asked his office to reverse its ruling and leave the Taser out of the autopsy report.
71. Richard Karlo, 44, Denver, Colo.
Aug. 19, 2004
Karlo was frothing at the mouth and breaking into cars when police stopped him. He reportedly attacked two officers who shocked him four times with a Taser. Karlo started having trouble breathing and then died. Karlo’s family reported that he had a heart condition and was taking cocaine when he encountered police. A coroner said Karlo died of a cocaine and antidepressant overdose. The coroner said Karlo was in a state of agitated delirium when he died. The coroner said Taser was not a factor in the death. The autopsy report lists cause of death as acute cocaine and nortriptyline toxicity.
72. Michael Sanders, 40, Fresno, Calif.
Aug. 20, 2004
Police said Sanders was struggling with his wife when they shocked him several times with a Taser. They said the musician was delusional and stabbed an officer several times with an unknown object. He was handcuffed, put on a gurney and transported to the hospital. He died in the ambulance. The coroner’s office said an autopsy revealed that Sanders died of complications related to cocaine intoxication. The autopsy report lists cause of death from complications of cocaine intoxication.
73. Lawrence Davis, 27, Phoenix
Aug. 24, 2004
Police say Davis jumped on the windshield of a patrol car and began yelling incoherently. Officers followed the man as he walked away from the car and rounded a corner. When he spotted police, the man again ran toward the vehicle and jumped on the bumper before officers attempted to detain him. Davis pushed the officers and an officer shocked him with a stun gun. Officers brought Davis to the ground and shocked him twice more. Police said the stun-gun shots had no effect, so a sergeant used a chokehold to temporarily knock the man unconscious. Paramedics were called. Davis died at the hospital. The medical examiner said Davis died as a result of excited delirium.
74. Jason Yeagley, 32, Winter Haven, Fla.
Aug. 27, 2004
Yeagley was wandering in the road and acting strangely. Police say when an officer tried to escort him out of the road, Yeagley attacked. The officer shocked Yeagley with a Taser. He continued struggling and was shocked again. Police said he was still fighting with the officer. After putting him in handcuffs, officers noticed Yeagley was in distress. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. A coroner reported that Yeagley died as a result withdrawal from the drug Xanax and a struggle with a deputy. The coroner said the Taser was not a factor in the death.
75. Michael Rosa, 38, Del Rey Oaks, Calif.
Aug. 29, 2004
Rosa was wandering through yards and screaming. When police approached, he picked up a 2x4 piece of wood and swung it at officers. Police shocked him with a Taser. After being handcuffed. Rosa started having difficulty breathing. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Rosa had a 2003 arrest for cocaine possession. The coroner said Rosa died of a heart attack from methamphetamine intoxication. But he listed Taser as a contributing factor in the death. The coroner says the Taser shock and the struggle with police combined with the drugs led to Rosa’s death.
76. Samuel Wakefield, 22, Rio Vista, Texas
Sept. 12, 2004
Wakefield was reportedly a passenger in a car stopped by police for suspicion of drunken driving. He tried to run and fell. An officer shocked him twice with a Taser. Wakefield appeared to have a cardiac arrest. Paramedics were called and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Witnesses told police Wakefield had ingested a large amount of cocaine about an hour before the traffic stop. An autopsy report said Wakefield died from cocaine intoxication.
77. Andrew Washington, 21, Vallejo, Calif.
Sept. 15, 2004
Police say Washington stole a car and was involved in a hit-and-run accident. An officer shot him with a Taser as he tried to climb a fence to run away. After being arrested, police say Washington showed signs of physical distress and was having difficulty breathing. Emergency crews were called to the scene. He was taken to a hospital where he died. An autopsy report concluded that Washington died from a cardiac arrest brought on by the excitement of the police chase and restraint. Cocaine was found in his system.
78. Jon Merkle, 40, Miami
Sept. 20, 2004
Merkle, an attorney with a history of cocaine use and drug arrests, was reportedly running through backyards and acting erratically. Police say they found him inside an abandoned house, where he was beating the walls and windows with a large stick. Officers were able to get him to drop the stick, but when they say Merkle started swinging when they attempted to arrest him. They shocked him with a Taser. Officers reported that he was feverish and excited and repeatedly attempted to lie down. Once on his stomach, he stopped breathing. Police say he had significant levels of cocaine in his system at the time of his death. An autopsy report lists cause of death as excited delirium associated with cocaine intoxication.
79. Dwayne Dunn, 33, Lafayette, La.
Oct. 4, 2004
Dunn was arrested outside of a Piggly Wiggly store for public intoxication. An officer tried to talk Dunn into leaving the property and when he refused, the officer shocked him with a Taser. Dunn was taken to jail and booked on charges of resisting arrest, disturbing the peace and for misrepresentation. Jail officials later put Dunn on a medical watch. An ambulance was called when his condition deteriorated. He died at the hospital. A corner reported that Dunn died from cocaine poisoning. He said Taser was not a factor in Dunn’s death.
80. Greshmond Gray, 25, LaGrange, Ga.
Nov. 2, 2004
Gray reportedly refused to leave an apartment and police were called. Officers shocked him when he would not follow orders to put his hands behind his back. Officers reported that he bent down to pick up a hibachi loaded with hot coals. He was shocked at least two more times for attempting to run away. After the shocks, Gray became unresponsive. Police reported that Gray had previous arrests for cocaine possession. A coroner reported that Gray had an abnormal heart. The coroner said the emotional and physical stress Gray underwent during the struggle with police, including being shocked with a Taser, led to the lethal heart rhythm.
81. Robert Guerrero, 21, Fort Worth, Texas
Nov. 2, 2004
A father of two, Guerrero fled from police after an apartment manager reported that he was trying steal electricity for a friend’s apartment. Guerrero reportedly tried to hide in a closet. When he wouldn’t come out officers shocked him at least twice. Witnesses said they noticed he wasn’t breathing as officers carried him out of the apartment. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The Medical Examiner’s Office said Guerrero died from heart failure due to cocaine overdose.
82. Keith Raymond Drum, Clearlake, Calif.
Nov. 7, 2004
Drum called 911 and reportedly talked about bodies being placed in the trunk of a car. Officer responding found that Drum had a warrant for his arrest. Officers said Drum charged them when they entered his house. Drum was sprayed with chemical spray and shocked with a Taser. He continued fighting and more officers were called to the scene. He was eventually placed in handcuffs. Shortly after, drum stopped breathing. A coroner reported that Drum’s death was the result of cardiac arrest brought on by methamphetamine intoxication, existing heart disease and his struggle with officers.
83. Ricardo Zaragoza, 40, Elk Grove, Calif.
Nov. 8, 2004
Zaragoza, a paranoid schizophrenic, was shocked during a struggle with sheriff’s deputies who were attempting to take him to the hospital for a mental health exam. Zaragoza’s parents called police for help after their son exhibited strange behavior. Although Zaragoza reportedly had been taking his medication, he hadn’t eaten for several days. Officers entered his bedroom, shocked him at least twice with a Taser, sprayed him with pepper spray and pinned him to the ground. He stopped breathing. A medical examiner reported Zaragoza died from a heart attack brought on by excited delirium and schizophrenia.
84. Charles Keiser, 47, Hartland Township, Mich.
Nov. 25, 2004
Keiser took a bulldozer from a road construction site and moved it onto a highway. When state police officers arrived, he was reportedly trying to start a backhoe and move it onto the highway. Keiser fled and police chased him into some woods. During a scuffle with the officers, Keiser reportedly grabbed one by the throat. Four sheriff’s deputies arrived. Keiser was shocked three times with a Taser and stopped breathing at the scene. A coroner ruled that his death was due to drowning.
85. Byron Black, 39, Lee County, Fla.
Nov. 27, 2004
Black died in a struggle with guards trying to remove him from a Lee County jail cell. Black, an insurance salesman, had been arrested four days earlier for allegedly setting his own van on fire. The sheriff’s office reported that deputies believed Black was having a seizure and tried to take him out of the cell for medical attention. Black began to fight and kick. He was sprayed him with pepper spray and shocked with a Taser.
86. Patrick Fleming, 35, Metairie, La.
Dec. 4, 2004
Sheriff’s deputies stopped Fleming around 1 a.m. for driving erratically. When he refused to get out of his vehicle, deputies dragged him out. Officers said Fleming became combative. Fleming, who had prior drug charges and was wanted on a warrant of criminal neglect of family, was shocked once with a Taser before being taken into custody. While being booked, officers say Fleming again became combative. He was shocked a second time. His started having trouble breathing and died the next day.
87. Kevin Downing, 36, Hollywood, Fla.
Dec. 15, 2004
A fire-rescue crew found Downing’s van blocking traffic on a Hollywood Street. When they tried to help Downing, he became agitated and acted strangely. Police reported that when officers arrived he became violent. An officer shot Downing with her Taser, but police said he continued to fight. He was shocked again and police officers tackled him to the ground. Downing died about two hours later at a hospital. An autopsy found that Downing died as a result of cocaine psychosis and excited delirium due to a lethal dose of cocaine.
88. Douglas Meldrum, 37, Wasatch County, Utah
Dec. 17, 2004.
Meldrum was shocked twice by police after he lead them on a chase and then resisted arrest. Police said Meldrum punched one officer as they attempted to remove him from his truck. He was shocked twice. Police say that he immediately stopped breathing and was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The county attorney reported that Meldrum died of heart failure because of agitated delirium and a high concentration of ephedrine. The county attorney also reported that Taser might have contributed to Meldrum’s death.
89. Lyle Nelson, 35, Columbia, Ill.
Dec. 17, 2004
Police responded to an emergency call at Nelson’s home. Police did not immediately report what the call was about, but said Nelson struggled with officers at the scene. He was shocked eight times with a Taser, placed in custody and taken to the county jail. He collapsed about 90 minutes later and was taken to a hospital where he died. He was married with three children. A coroner reported that he died from a cocaine overdose. Police reported that Nelson admitted to smoking crack and had a history of cocaine abuse.
90. Timothy Bolander, 31, Delray Beach, Fla.
Dec. 23, 2004
Bolander’s wife called police when he showed up at her house in violation of a restraining order. When officers arrived, they say he was banging his head against a fence. He struggled with officers and they shocked him four times with a Taser. He collapsed and was pronounced dead at a hospital. A coroner reported that he died of accidental cocaine toxicity after swallowing four bags of cocaine. Taser was reported not to be a factor in the death.
91. Ronnie Pino, 31, Sacramento, Calif.
Dec. 23, 2004
Pino was found dead in the medical ward of the county jail. The day before, Pino had been shocked twice with a Taser during a struggle with police after he shattered the glass door of a mental hospital. A coroner reported Pino died from "sudden unexpected death syndrome."
92. Christopher Hernandez, 19, Naples, Fla.
Dec. 28, 2004
Hernandez was a passenger in a car that sheriff’s deputies attempted to pull over around 1 a.m. According to the police, the car kept driving and finally stopped in the parking lot of a convenience store. When deputies ordered the driver out of the car, Hernandez reportedly got out and attacked a deputy. Hernandez was sprayed with a chemical and shocked with a Taser. He continued struggling before deputies were able to place him in handcuffs. He was taken to a hospital and died an hour later. The 16-year-old driver of the car was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Another passenger in the car was arrested after police found a handgun under his seat.
93. Jeanne Hamilton, 46, Palmdale, Calif.
Dec. 29, 2004
California Highway Patrol attempted to stop Hamilton’s car around 2:30 a.m. Officers reported that the she was driving about 90 mph then slowed and accelerated before stopping. Officers said Hamilton refused to get out of the car so the sprayed her with chemical spray and pulled her out of the car. Officers said she lay on her stomach on top of her hands and refused to show officers her hands. She was shocked and then placed in handcuffs. Officers said she continued to struggle while being booked into jail and stopped breathing after they put her in a cell. She was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
94. David Cooper, 40, Marion County, Ind.
Dec. 30, 2004
Cooper was incarcerated for allegedly strangling a Baptist minister that he believed to be the devil. During his Dec. 19 arrest, police shocked Cooper repeatedly with Tasers. Two days later, he was shocked in jail for injuring himself in a padded cell. On Dec. 24 he was transferred from the jail to a hospital’s psychiatric ward, where he stopped breathing and was placed on a respirator. He was pronounced dead on Dec. 30. Relatives said he had a heart condition.
95. Gregory Saulsbury, 30, Pacifica, Calif.
Jan. 2, 2005
Saulsbury’s family called 911 for help. Saulsbury, who was mentally ill, was agitated and his parents were trying to calm him down. Instead of paramedics, police arrived. Officers said Saulsbury was confrontational and refused to obey commands. Saulsbury’s relatives reportedly told police that they had succeeded in calming him down. But officers attempted to place Saulsbury in handcuffs. He struggled and they shocked him with Tasers. During the struggle, police reportedly shocked Saulsbury’s unarmed father. Saulsbury immediately stopped breathing and died. The coroner reported that Taser contributed to his death. The Taser shocks, along with cocaine intoxication and a struggle with police, all played a roll in the heart attack that killed him.
96. Dennis Hyde, 30, Akron
Jan. 5, 2005
Hyde broke into a home and when police responded, he reportedly told them he was the devil and threatened to kill the homeowners and the officers. During a struggle officers shocked him with a Taser and he died. A medical examiner said Taser contributed to the death but also cited other factors, including methamphetamines and blood loss.
97. Carl Trotter, 33, Pensacola, Fla.
Jan. 8, 2005
Trotter broke into several homes and attacked residents in a quiet neighborhood. Chased out of one residence, he reportedly picked up an elderly woman walking on the sidewalk and literally carried her, kicking and screaming, to a church parking lot. When a neighbor forced Trotter to let her go, he crashed through the glass door of another house and attacked a woman there. Sheriff’s deputies and residents struggled with Trotter. More deputies arrived and one of them shocked Trotter multiple times with a Taser. According to police, Trotter continued to fight, then collapsed and died in the front yard. The coroner reported that the cause of Trotter’s death was unknown and said the Taser might have contributed. "The potential effects of the Taser shocks delivered just prior to his cardio-respiratory collapse cannot be ignored," the coroner said in an autopsy report.
98. Unknown man, Chickasha, Okla.
Jan. 28, 2005
A suspect was shocked with a Taser after fleeing from a drug raid led by the FBI. A Chickasha Police officer reported that the man swallowed cocaine and then began running. The officer said he shocked him to stop him from escaping. Officers said the unnamed suspect became unresponsive and he was taken to the hospital where he died.
99. Jeffrey Turner, 41, Lucas County, Ohio
Jan. 31, 2005
Turner was loitering outside of a Toledo museum when Toledo Police officers approached him and asked for identification. Officers said Turner resisted when they attempted to search him. During a struggle he was shocked repeatedly with a Taser. Once placed in custody, he was taken to the Lucas County Corrections Center. At the center, sheriff’s deputies said he became combative. They went into his cell and used a Taser multiple times to subdue him. Turner died. Taser use has been suspended inside the jail. The Lucas County Coroner ruled that the Taser use contributed to Turner’s death, and classified the case as a homicide. Turner had been stunned with a Taser a total of nine times. The coroner also reported that Turner’s own cardiac condition was the main cause of his death.
100. Ronald Alan Hasse, 54, Chicago
Feb. 10, 2005
Hasse was shocked by police during a confrontation at a Chicago apartment. He had been visiting friends, who asked him to leave when he started acting strange and lost control of himself. Chicago police reported that he tried to kick and bite an officer and threatened to infect officers with HIV. After warning Hasse to calm down, a police sergeant shocked him with a Taser. Hasse was a former Chicago securities trader who was supposed to go on trial in June for burying a body on an Indiana farm. A medical examiner said that Taser was the primary cause of death. He said drugs contributed to Hasse’s death, but ruled that shocks from the Taser “pushed him over the edge,” causing cardiac arrest.
101. Robert Camba, 45, San Diego, Calif. advertisement
Feb. 12, 2005
Police were called to investigate a possible fight an apartment where they reported finding Camba thrashing on the floor. Officers said Camba threw things at them and kicked at them. An officer shocked him with a Taser. And police placed him in handcuffs. Camba became unresponsive and paramedics were called. He died two days later. An autopsy report showed Camba died as a result of a cardiac arrest following Taser shocks while intoxicated with cocaine and in a state of excited delirium. The autopsy report said heart disease contributed to his death.
102. Joel Dawn Casey, 52, Houston
Feb. 18, 2005
Casey, a psychiatric patient, was shocked by police during a confrontation at his mother’s house. Deputies from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office mental health unit reported that they had received information that he did not have any health problems. It turned out that Casey had a heart condition. Deputies said he resisted when they attempted to restrain him and that he continued to struggle after being shocked. After they placed him in handcuffs, officers noticed Casey was not breathing. A preliminary report found some evidence to suggest that Casey might have strangled when a bone near his windpipe broke.
103. Robert Heston, 40, Salinas, Calif.
Feb. 20, 2005
Heston died two days after suffering a cardiac arrest following a police Taser strike. Heston was shocked as many as 10 times after officers were called to his residence where he was fighting with his father. Police said Heston was throwing objects and assaulting his 66-year-old father. When officers tried to stop him, Heston allegedly attacked them. They shocked him several times with the Taser and he continued to fight. Officers said they noticed his heart stopped breathing and they used CPR to revive him. He was taken to a hospital where he died. In interviews following the death, the police chief defended Tasers using language directly out of the stun gun company’s promotional material.
An autopsy was performed and then underwent reviews by two other pathologists, each of whom wrote a report. All three medical examiners agreed that methamphetamine was the cause of Heston’s death. But one medical examiner also cited Taser as a cause of death while the other two cited Taser as a contributing factor in Hestons death.
104. Shirley Andrews, 38, Cincinnati, Ohio
March 3, 2005
Police responded to a group home for the mentally ill where Andrews, 5-foot-7 and 270 pounds, was reportedly assaulting staff members. Officers reported that she threw a plastic case at them. After warning her, officers shocked her with a Taser. Andrews reportedly continued fighting and officers shocked her again. Police reported that her obesity prevented the Taser from working. Andrews finally agreed to let herself be placed in cuffs and was taken to jail. She died a week later. A coroner reported that she died of a pulmonary embolism. He reported that the Taser was not a factor in her death.
105. Willie Towns, 30, Deland, Fla.
March 6, 2005
Towns, who was suspected of burglary, died after being shocked three times with a Taser during a struggle with police. Deland police said Towns resisted arrest and stopped breathing on the way to a hospital. Officers said Towns admitted to taking cocaine before he died. A medical examiner said Towns died of acute cocaine intoxication and his death was ruled an accident.
106. Milton Woolfolk, 39, Lake City, Fla.
March 12, 2005
Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies were attempting to take Woolfolk, who had a history of mental problems, into custody for a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation. Deputies say he resisted arrest and refused to follow commands. They shocked him and Woolfolk allegedly attempted to pull out the Taser prongs. Deputies took him to the ground and placed him in handcuffs. He stopped moving, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
107. Mark Young, 25, Indianapolis, Ind.
March 17, 2005
Young was arrested at a suspected drug house. Police say he resisted and was shocked with a Taser to get him into handcuffs. Less than an hour after the arrest, Young went into a seizure and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Indianapolis police said Young continued talking after he was shocked. Police reported that Young swallowed drugs during a search of the house and that he tested positive for cocaine.
108. James Wathan Jr., 32, Delhi, Calif.
April 3, 2005
Wathan’s father called deputies to his Delhi home to help control his son, who he reported was a longtime drug and alcohol abuser. Deputies discovered Wathan had outstanding warrants on narcotics charges and attempted to arrest him. Wathan struggled and deputies hit him with batons and sprayed him with pepper spray. A Livingston police officer also came to the scene and shocked Wathan with a Taser. He lost consciousness and died at the scene.
109. Eric Hammock, 43, Fort Worth, Texas
April 3, 2005
Hammock, an architect, reportedly trespassed into a wastewater treatment plant. When ordered to stop by an off-duty Fort Worth police officer working as a security guard, Hammock continued driving. The officer followed Hammock after he left the plant. Hammock drove for a while then reportedly jumped out of his rental car. The officer followed on foot. The officer shocked Hammock with a Taser when Hammock attempted to hit him. Another officer who arrived to help also shocked Hammock, who was placed in custody. The officers noticed that Hammock was having trouble breathing and took him to a hospital where he died. A coroner reported that Hammock’s death was due to cocaine intoxication.
110. Ricky Barber, 46, Carter County, Okla.
April 8, 2005
Barber was accused of assaulting a retired sheriff’s deputy at a campsite. He reportedly attacked deputies responding to the call, who used a Taser to subdue him. Barber was taken to jail. Three days he was found dead in his jail cell. Deputies originally thought he was asleep.
111. John Cox, 39, Bellport, N.Y.
April 22, 2005
Cox, who was taking anti-psychotic drugs, became upset while visiting his girlfriend. Police officers, responding to a 911 call, ordered Cox to his knees. Officers reported that he charged them instead. Cox was shocked with a Taser and reportedly pulled out the darts. He was shocked four more times during the ensuing struggle involving nine officers. Cox was placed down on a gurney and taken to a hospital where he died. Witnesses reported that police continued to shock him after he was placed on the gurney. The Suffolk County Medical Examiner said Cox had cocaine and alcohol in his blood.
112. Keith Graff, 24, Phoenix
May 3, 2005
Police stopped Graff, a former soldier in the Army’s 82nd Airborne, at an apartment complex near Eight Street and Bell Road. Officers wanted to question Graff about an assault three weeks earlier during which he reportedly fled from officers. Officers reported that Graff provided them with them false identification and then tried to run away. Officers said Graff began fighting and one officer fired her Taser and missed. Another officer shocked Graff, but it reportedly had no effect. Police continued to shock him until he was placed in handcuffs. Police officers estimate the Taser was used for 84 seconds, until Graff stopped fighting. Graff stopped breathing a short time later and was pronounced dead at a hospital. An autopsy report listed methamphetamine intoxication as the cause of death.
113. Kevin Geldart, 34, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
May 5, 2005
Officers were called to a bar on complaints that a patron had become violent. Geldart, who was reportedly 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds, confronted police who shocked him with a Taser. He slumped to the floor unconscious. An ambulance was called and Geldart was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. Geldart was a patient at a local psychiatric hospital and apparently walked away earlier in the day during a cigarette break.
114. Stanley Wilson, 44, Miami
May 6, 2005
Wilson was found dodging traffic on a busy Miami street. When officers approached Wilson, he reportedly tried to hit them. Officers shocked him with a Taser and arrested him. Wilson was taken to Miami-Dade County Jail where jail staff said he became violent and combative. He was placed in a cell, where he was found unconscious. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
115. Lawrence Berry, 33, Jefferson Parish, La.
May 6, 2005
Guards at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center shocked Berry at least twice with a Taser after he became violent and combative, reportedly breaking a shatterproof glass window and fighting with guards. He was strapped to a special restraint chair when guards noticed that he was unresponsive. They preformed CPR and took him to a medical center where he was pronounced dead. Berry had been jailed on charges of crack distribution and battery on a police officer. He was taken to a hospital a week earlier when he reportedly had a seizure, but he had refused treatment.
116. Vernon Young, 31, Union Township, Ohio
May 13, 2005
Young went on a rampage in an apartment complex, first using a gun to shoot into his own closet then forcing his way into the manager’s unit and threatening her with a knife. Police officers ordered Young to the floor and he complied. But when he started to rise, an officer shocked him with a Taser. He died an hour later at a medical center. The coroner said preliminary tests showed Young had ingested enough cocaine that he would have died with or without the Taser.
117. Leroy Pierson, 55, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
May 17, 2005
Pierson had been arrested on outstanding warrants by sheriff’s deputies who were called to investigate reports that a man was engaged in odd behavior while walking down a road. Deputies took Pierson to a detention center. When they ordered Pierson, who was handcuffed, out of the patrol car, he reportedly refused and became aggressive. Deputies shocked him with a Taser and moved him to a cell where he was shocked a second time for refusing to obey commands. He lost consciousness and was taken to a medical center. He was placed on life support for 24 hours before being pronounced dead.
118. Randy Martinez, 40, Albuquerque, New Mexico
May 20, 2005
Martinez’s mother called 911 for help, saying her son was out of control. Police arrived and a struggle ensued. Officers shocked Martinez multiple times. He suffered a heart attack and was taken to a hospital where he died two days later.
119. Lee Marvin Kimmel, 38, Reading, Penn.
May 23, 2005
Kimmel was shocked with a Taser after reportedly breaking into a municipal building. Kimmel, who had on only socks and a T-shirt, was attempting to climb through a window when police stopped him. Officers said Kimmel began to struggle and they shocked him with a Taser and sprayed him with chemical spray. His heart stopped and he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
120. Richard Alverado, 38, Tustin, Calif.
May 23, 2005
Police said Alverdo had broken into an apartment and struggled with officers when they attempted to arrest him. Officers shocked him with a Taser and placed him under arrest. Paramedics were called to the scene to treat Alverado for wounds he received while breaking through the apartment window. He stopped breathing and was taken to a medical center where he died the next day without regaining consciousness.
121. Walter Lamont Seats, 23, Nashville, Tenn.
May 26, 2005
Seats reportedly sold drugs to an undercover officer. As police attempted to arrest him, officers reported that he stuffed a baggie of drugs into his mouth. They say he refused to spit out the drugs and wrestled with officers who shocked him with a Taser. An hour later, Seats appeared to get sick and started drooling. An ambulance was called to the scene and Seats died an hour later. A medical examiner said that Seats choked on the drugs, which went down his windpipe. The medical examiner said there was no evidence that Taser was involved in Seats’ death.
122. Richard Holcomb, 18, Springfield Township, Ohio
May 27, 2005
Police found Holcomb trespassing in a field following a graduation night party. Police reported that Holcomb was shirtless and incoherent. Police said he was alternatively swing his arms and sitting on the ground mumbling. When an officer approached Holcomb, he reportedly charged her. The officer shocked him with a Taser three times when he refused to stay on the ground. An investigation found that Thomas had been drinking and taking drugs on the night of his death A medical examiners report said methamphetamines, ecstacy and other substances were found in Holcomb’s system. His death was attributed to drugs and the Taser. The report said were it not for the drugs, Holcomb would not have succumbed to the Taser shocks.
123. Nazario Solorio, 38, Escondido, Calif.
June 2, 2005
Solorio, an unemployed cook and a father of five, suffered from schizophrenia. Police were called to his mother’s home May 28 where Solorio was creating a disturbance. Officers were attempting to take him to a hospital. When Solorio refused to obey commands, officers shocked him with a Taser. He lapsed into a coma and died five days later. An investigator with the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office said the Taser had nothing to do with Solorio’s death, which was described as suffocation due to positional asphyxia, meaning he couldn’t breath while being restrained.
124. Unknown man, 33, Sacramento, Calif.
June 4, 2005
Police responded to calls that a man was assaulting people on a downtown street. Police said the man, who was described as 6 foot 2 and 300 pounds, tossed an officer who attempted to arrest him. Officers shocked him twice with a Taser and he reportedly continued to fight. Officers shocked him once more. Police reported that the man was taken into custody and was being transported to a hospital for removal of the Taser darts when his heart stopped. The man reportedly had a history of drug arrests.
125. Russell Walker, 47, Las Vegas.
June 6, 2005
Walker was shocked three times by officers who were called to remove him from a hotel casino. Walker was reportedly getting into fights, yelling and tearing up money. Officers reported that Walker refused to obey commands so they shocked him twice with a Taser. While he was handcuffed officers shocked Walker a third time as he continued to resist. The coroner ruled Walker’s death a homicide. He said Walker died of cardiac arrhythmia during the restraint.
126. Horace Owens, 48, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
June 11, 2005
Owens reportedly broke into a house and was screaming that somebody was trying to kill him. The owner of the house fled and called police. Broward County Sheriff’s deputies entered the home and coaxed Owens outside where he apparently began fighting with them. Owens was shocked with a Taser but allegedly continued struggling with officers. He stopped breathing and deputies tried to revive him. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. A coroner said cocaine, not shocks from the Taser, caused Owens’ death.
127. Michael Anthony Edwards, 32, Palatka, Fla.
June 13, 2005
Edwards was shocked three times by Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies who were responding to a noise complaint. Deputies say Edwards, who was naked, ran through two plate-glass windows and was trying to climb a fence in an attempt to escape. Deputies say they ordered him to stop before shocking him with a Taser. He stopped breathing at the scene and could not be revived. A medical examiner said Edwards was suffering from excited delirium, but the final autopsy report has not been completed.
128. Shawn Pirolozzi, 30, Canton, Ohio
June 13, 2005
Police say Pirolozzi went berserk inside his home, breaking windows and splashing the inside of the home with water to purify it from demons, before running outside and jumping in front of traffic. Police say Pirolozzi jumped on a patrol car and began attacking officers who arrived on the scene. At one point, the naked and bleeding Pirolozzi got inside the police cruiser and began fighting with officers who shocked him with a Taser. He died after being taken to a hospital. Officers who reportedly hit and kicked Pirolozzi were later suspended. An investigation is under way.
129. Robert Earl Williams, 62, Waco, Texas
June 14, 2005
Police responded to a domestic disturbance call at Williams’ sister’s house. Upon arrival, officers learned that Williams was wanted on a previous charge of resisting arrest. When they attempted to put him in handcuffs, officers say Williams picked up a steel bar. Officers shocked him with a Taser about four times. Police reported that Williams continued fighting. After he was arrested and sitting down, Williams said he was having trouble breathing. He died at the scene. The medical examiner reported that Williams died from acute physiological stress associated with multiple electrical shocks during attempted restraint by police. He was schizophrenic and in the throes of excited delirium.
130. Melinda Kaye Neal. 33, Whitfield County, Ga.
June 24, 2005
Neal, who reportedly suffered from manic depression and drug addictions, was arrested after walking into someone’s home and going through cabinets. When deputies arrived, she reportedly became combative. A deputy shocked her once with a Taser and placed her in handcuffs. While transporting her to jail, Neal reportedly kicked out a window of a patrol car. After passing out at the jail, Neal was transported to a hospital where she died. Police said her death was likely caused by drugs.
131. Carolyn Daniels, 25, Fort Worth
June 24, 2005
Daniels, a convicted prostitute, approached a police officer and said someone was following her. The officer, believing she was under the influence, attempted to arrest her. During the arrest, the officer shocked Daniels with a Taser. She died 90 minutes later at a local hospital.
132. Unknown man, Miami, Fla.
June 29, 2005
Police responding to a burglary call encountered an extremely agitated suspect who was banging on doors and climbing on roofs in a Miami neighborhood. Police said when they confronted the man he ran and attempted to break into a house. Officers shocked him at least twice with a Taser. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
133. Gurmeet Sandhu, 41, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
June 30, 2005
Police responding to a domestic violence call heard screaming coming from inside Sandhu’s home. Police say that Sandhu was assaulting a woman and became combative when officers attempted to intervene. They say he fought with officers who shocked Sandhu multiple times with a Taser and sprayed him with pepper spray. Officers reported that he stopped breathing and died at the scene.
134. James Foldi, 39, Beamsville, Ontario, Canada
July 1, 2005
Police were responding to reports of numerous neighborhood break-ins when they found Foldi. When they attempted to arrest Foldi, he resisted. Officers shot at him with the Taser, which the department had deployed only days earlier. Foldi was taken to a police station but later transported to a hospital where he died.
135. Rockey Bryson, 41, Birmingham, Ala.
July 7, 2005
Bryson, who had been arrested on alcohol-related charges, was in jail when authorities say he became confrontational in his cell. Corrections officers shocked him with a Taser and sprayed him with chemical spray in order to subdue him He was found dead in his cell a few hours later. The medical examiner said Bryson died of a heart attack brought on by alcoholism. He said the Taser had nothing to do with the death.
136. Kevin Omas, 17, Euless, Texas
July 12, 2005
Officers responded to calls that Omas had ingested four “hits” of LSD and two tabs of Ecstasy and was suffering an overdose. Police said when they arrived on the scene Omas became combative and refused to obey commands. Officers said he charged at them. Officers shocked Omas three times with a Taser. He was taken to the hospital where he died two days later.
137. Ernesto Valdez, 37, Phoenix
July 15, 2005
Police say Valdez exhibited bizarre behavior and “incredible strength” after he broke into a Church’s Chicken restaurant, chased out the employees and fought with officers, who shocked him three times with a Taser. They say even after being shocked the man continued struggling. Officers reported that after Valdez was placed in restraints and masked to prevent him from spitting, they noticed he had stopped breathing. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
138. Paul Sheldon Saulnier, 42, Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada
July 15, 2005
Saulnier’s wife wanted police to take her mentally ill husband into custody. Saulnier had just spent seven days under psychiatric observation. His wife said she felt he would get better treatment in custody. Officers arrested Saulnier, but while they were fingerprinting him, he fled outside. Three officers followed. During the struggle, officers used batons, pepper spray and a Taser gun to place Saulnier in custody. He was shocked multiple times. Once Saulnier was handcuffed, officers noticed he had stopped breathing.
139. Otis Thrasher, 42, Butte, Mont.
July 15, 2005
Police responding to a domestic disturbance call at Thrasher’s home on July 12 say he confronted officers with a knife. Officers said they attempted to subdue Thrasher with pepper spray and then used a Taser. After he was shocked, he fell unconscious. He was taken to the hospital and placed on life support. He was disconnected from life support three days later and died. A medical examiner said Thrasher died from a heart attack due to heart disease. But he also said the Taser shock and drugs might have contributed to Thrasher’s death.
140. Michael Crutchfield, 40, West Palm Beach, Fla.
July 17, 2005
Crutchfield entered an assisted living center and began acting irrationally, grabbing and attacking elderly residents. He fled the facility. Police stopped him and he began struggling with officers, who shocked Crutchfield with a Taser. Crutchfield was shocked at least one more time while he was on the ground. He fell unconscious and died a short time later. The Florida state attorney’s office issued a report stating that the cause of Crutchfield died from acute cocaine toxicity. The full autopsy has not been released.
141. Carlos Casillas Fernandez, 31, Santa Rosa, Calif.
July 18, 2005
Police responding to a 911 call at Fernandez’s home found him allegedly under the influence of drugs. Fernandez’s wife reported that her husband was likely under the influence and had been acting paranoid and delusional. When an officer attempted to take his pulse, Fernandez reportedly became combative. Officers shocked Fernandez a total of six times and used pepper spray and a neck restraint to place him in handcuffs. He was lying face down with his hands cuffed behind his back when he started having trouble breathing. He was taken to a hospital and died.
142. Maury Cunningham, 29, Lancaster County, S.C.
July 23, 2005
Cunningham allegedly attempted to attack two Lancaster County Jail deputies by gouging their eyes with pencils when he attempted to escape from his cell. The deputies shocked Cunningham multiple times with a Taser and sprayed him with pepper spray. He died a short time later. Cunningham was in jail on a charge of assault and battery with intent to kill. A coroner ruled that the Taser caused Cunningham’s death, saying he had no drugs or alcohol in his system.
143. Terrence Thomas, 35, Queens Village, N.Y.
July 27, 2005
Thomas was arrested while riding in a rental car that had been reported stolen. Thomas was taken to a precinct cell where he later became ill. Four officers entered the cell and shocked him with a Taser when he became combative. He died about an hour later. Police say Thomas might have swallowed narcotics. The medical examiner’s office said Thomas died of a drug overdose and that the Taser was not a factor in the death.
144. Brian Patrick O’Neal, 32, San Jose
Aug. 1, 2005
Police say O’Neal broke into a townhouse an attacked a man he did not know. The two men began fighting and witnesses called police. Officers attempted to arrest O’Neal, but he fled. Officers used batons, pepper spray and a Taser. O’Neal lost consciousness during the struggle. Officers attempted to revive him CPR. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
145. Eric Mahoney, 33, Fremont, Calif.
Aug. 3, 2005
Mahoney, a parolee with a history of drug use, was shocked repeatedly with a Taser on July 29 while trying to flee from officers by climbing a wall. Officers, who were responding to a call of shots fired near a hotel, stopped Mahoney in his vehicle and found two knives and methamphetamines. During the chase and an ensuing struggle, Mahoney was shocked as many as eight times. Police arrested Mahoney and took him to a hospital. About 20 minutes after arriving at the hospital, Mahoney went into a coma. His family removed him from life support five days later.
146. Olsen Ogodidde, 38, Glendale, Ariz.
Aug. 6, 2005
Ogodidde was sitting in a car that did not belong to him at a Circle K. When officers asked him to get out of the car, Ogodidde refused. Officers reached into the vehicle to pull Ogodidde out and he reportedly struggled. Officers shocked him with Tasers in the arm and the leg. Officers suspected that Ogodidde was impaired by an unidentified substance and called paramedics to take him to the hospital, where police say he had a seizure and died.
147. Unidentified man, 47, Phoenix
Aug. 8, 2005
Police said the man was tearing up the restrooms of a taco restaurant on Seventh Street and had locked himself in a women’s stall. They say the man displayed great strength, kicking and swinging his arms at three officers who were trying to arrest him. During the struggle, police shocked him five times for five seconds each. The man stopped breathing and was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
148. Shawn Norman, 40, Laurelville, Ohio
Aug. 26, 2005
Norman reportedly crashed a stolen truck near his home while drunk. A sheriff’s deputy found Norman hiding in a ditch nearby and attempted to arrest him. When he refused to obey commands, the deputy shocked him twice with a Taser. Norman continued to fight and brought the deputy to the ground. Another deputy shocked Norman a third time. Norman reportedly became sick and began frothing at the mouth. He died at the scene. Preliminary autopsy results found that Norman had marijuana, cocaine and antidepressants in his system. He also suffered from heart disease.
149. Brian Lichtenstein, 31, Stuart, Fla.
Aug. 27, 2005
Officers responding to a 911 call found Lichtenstein naked and running through the woods near the mobile home park where he lived. An officer shocked Lichtenstein twice with a Taser when he reportedly began acting aggressive. He was arrested and taken to the hospital where he died the next morning. A medical examiner reported that Lichtenstein died from cocaine intoxication. He said the Taser did not contribute to the death.
150. David Cross, 44, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Sept. 17, 2005
Cross was arrested on a domestic violence charge and taken to the Santa Cruz County Jail. While in custody, he reportedly began yelling and banging his head against his cell door. When he refused to stop, deputies shocked him with a Taser. He was restrained and then stopped breathing. The coroner said Cross died from a lack of oxygen to the brain as a result of the way he was restrained. The coroner reported that the Taser was not a factor in the death.
151. Timothy Torres, 24, Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Sept. 22, 2005
Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call that Torres had broken into his family’s house and was holding his parents and teenage siblings at knifepoint. Torres’s father had kicked him out of the house earlier that day. Deputies struggled with Torres and used batons, handholds and a Taser. He stopped breathing after deputies placed him in handcuffs. Torres died at a hospital.
152. Patrick Lee, 21, Nashville
Sept. 24, 2005
Police were called to a bar where Lee was creating a disturbance after being thrown out. When an officer confronted him, Lee reportedly stripped naked and began running around the parking lot. The officer shocked Lee with a Taser, but Lee continued to resist and attempted to flee. Officers shocked Lee up to 19 times and hit him with batons and pepper spray before they were able to arrest him.
Lee reportedly told officers he was high on drugs. He went into cardiac arrest and died at a hospital. A medical examiner said Taser was not the direct cause of Lee’s death, which he said was from excited delirium. But he could not rule out Taser completely in Lee’s death, saying it could be part of the chain of events that caused his heart to stop. While drugs were found in Lee’s system, the medical examiner said they were not fatal levels.
153. Michael Clark, 33, Austin
Sept. 26, 2005
Police said Clark became violent when they attempted to arrest him on a domestic violence charge. Officers said Clark attacked them and continued fighting after they shocked him multiple times with a Taser and sprayed him with pepper spray. Police restrained Clark and tied his legs together at the ankles. He was taken to a hospital where he died a short time later. An autopsy found that Clark died of PCP and cocaine induced excited delirium. The autopsy report also said Clark had a blood disease that contributed to his death. The medical examiner said Taser was not a factor in Clark’s death.
154. Steven Cunningham, 45, Fort Myers, Fla.
Oct. 13, 2005
Cunningham was at a mental health clinic when he began struggle with staff members. Police were called and Cunningham reportedly began fighting with an officer who shocked him with a Taser. Cunningham collapsed in the parking lot of the mental health center and was taken to a hospital where he died.
155. Jose Perez, 33, San Leandro, Calif.
Oct. 20, 2005
Police confronted Perez at the home of a former girlfriend who had a restraining order against him. When officers approached, Perez ran. Officers stopped Perez, who reportedly fought with officers attempting to arrest him. During the struggle, Perez was shocked with a Taser. Officers reported that he continued fighting until they were able to place him in hand and leg restraints. Perez was taken to jail, where he continued fighting with officers, He was again shocked with a Taser. As officers attempted to take off the restraints, Perez stopped breathing.
156. Timothy Mathis, Loveland, Colo.
Oct. 25, 2005
Mathis was incoherent and violent when sheriff’s deputies responded to a trailer on Oct. 3. He reportedly broke a window, stabbed himself in the leg and charged officers with a rock. Officers shocked him with a Taser at least three times. He was placed in custody and suffered a cardiac arrest. A coroner said Mathis died of heart failure in part from being shocked with the Taser. He also said Mathis had methamphetamines in his system and that he was suffering from drug-induced excited delirium.
157. Miguel Serrano, 35, New Britain, Conn.
Nov. 1, 2005
Police were called to a house on Oct. 25 where they found Serrano acting in a bizarre manner. He reportedly lunged at officers and appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Officers shocked Serrano and placed him in custody. He was taken to a hospital where died a week after being shocked.
158. Josh Brown, 23, Lafayette, La.
Nov. 13, 2005
Brown reportedly jumped head first from the window of his second floor apartment and then rammed his head repeatedly into a fence. Deputies arrived to find Brown naked and continuing to bang his head into a fence. Brown reportedly made threats against bystanders and police officers shocked him with a Taser. He was taken to a hospital where he died several hours later. Police said they suspected Brown died from the head injuries he sustained and not the Taser shocks. An autopsy was pending.
159. Jose Angel Rios, 38, San Jose, Calif.
Nov. 17, 2005
An off-duty police officer saw Rios hit a woman during a domestic dispute at an apartment complex. The officer reported that Rios was attempting to wrench a 4-year-old child out of the woman’s arms. When the officer attempted to intervene, Rios began fighting. The officer used pepper spray but it had no affect. When other officers arrived, police shocked him with a Taser. He was placed in handcuffs and continued struggling before losing consciousness. He was transported to a hospital where he died.
160. Hansel Cunningham, 30, Des Plaines, Ill.
Nov. 20, 2005
Cunningham, who was autistic and mentally retarded, reportedly became upset at a group home and bit the hands of a caregiver. Police officers were called to the home and Cunningham ran away. Officers chased him, sprayed him with pepper spray and shocked him twice with a taser. After officers tackled Cunningham, they placed him in handcuffs. He was given a sedative, but became unresponsive and started having trouble breathing. Caregivers reported that Cunningham had no history of violence.
161. Tracy Rene Shippy, 35, Fort Meyers, Fla.
Nov. 26, 2005
Shippy entered a Hallmark store, told employees she had been in a fight and then began turning over and breaking display cases. Employees of the store called sheriff’s deputies. When the deputies arrived and attempted to restrain Shippy, she became combative. A deputy reportedly took her to the ground and placed her in handcuffs. She continued to struggle and an officer shocked her with a Taser. About 15 minutes later, she turned blue and stopped breathing. Shippy had recently moved to Florida from Iowa in an attempt to rebuild her life after years of being addicted to drugs.
162. Kevin Dewayne Wright, 39, Kelso, Wash.
Nov. 30, 2005
Police were called to the office of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, where Wright was reportedly confused and combative. He was reportedly swinging a broken chair. Three officers attempted to coax Wright out of the building. When Wright began fighting, officers shocked him twice with Tasers. He was placed in handcuffs and taken to a hospital where he died.
163. Jeffrey Eranhardt, 47, Orlando, Fla.
Dec. 1, 2005
Jeffrey Earnhardt, cousin of NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt, was found naked and running barefoot in traffic just after 6 a.m. Sheriff’s deputies reported that Earnhardt refused to obey commands and get out of the road. He reportedly rushed at deputies who shocked him with a Taser. The shock had no apparent effect and officers shocked him again. Deputies tackled him and during the struggle, Earnhardt stopped breathing. Earnhardt had a history of methamphetamine abuse and according to family members had been acting as if he was intoxicate for more than a day. When deputies approached him, he was reportedly sweating, angry and his skin was hot to the touch.
164. Michael Tolosko, 31, Sonoma, Calif.
Dec. 7, 2005
Tolosko’s mother called 911 after her son, who had a history of mental illness and had stopped taking his medication, became agitated and locked himself in a room. When sheriff’s deputies entered the room, they said Tolosko attacked them. Deputies restrained him, put him in a harness to keep him from kicking and shocked him repeatedly with a Taser. Tolosko died while deputies were attempting to take him out of the house.
165. Howard Starr, 32, Florence, S.C.
Dec. 17, 2005
Starr and an accomplice were fleeing police in a stolen van that had been used to ram a mini mart in an attempted robbery. The van crashed into a police car and Starr ran away on foot. During the chase, sheriff’s deputies shot Starr at least twice with a Taser. While they were placing him in handcuffs, deputies said that Starr started having trouble breathing. He died a short time later.
166. Unidentified man, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Dec. 24, 2005
Police responded to calls about a man exhibiting strange behavior in an Edmonton neighborhood. When officers approached the man, he became confrontational and a struggle ensued. Officers reportedly shocked him with a taser. The man fell to the ground and died.
167. David Moss, 26, Omaha, Neb.
Dec. 29, 2005
Moss was reportedly blocking cars, growling and salivating on an Omaha street. Police say when they arrived, Moss charged them in an attempt to get away. Officers shocked him with a Taser. While officers attempted to place Moss in handcuffs, he continued fighting. He was shocked repeatedly. He was restrained and went into cardiac arrest. He was taken to a hospital where he died.