Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sacramento Man Dies After Being Tasered

A 36-year-old Sacramento man died Friday evening following a struggle with police officers and jail staff in the Roseville City Jail.

At 5:19 p.m. on December 11, Roseville Police officers made a traffic stop on Orlando Avenue at Cirby Way and arrested the driver without incident for possession of methamphetamine. Officers transported him to the Roseville City Jail. Once inside the jail booking area, the man became combative and struggled with officers during the intake process. Several police officers responded and attempted to subdue him. During the struggle, staff found an additional quantity of methamphetamine on the arrestee's person.

During the struggle a sergeant deployed a Taser electronic control device, the darts striking the arrestee in the buttocks area. The man continued to resist for a short time, and then stopped breathing. Staff administered CPR and Roseville Fire Department paramedics responded, but were unable to revive the man. He was transported by ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The decedent's name is being withheld until his family can be notified. The Roseville Police Department has had no prior contacts with the man, but according to court records, he had a lengthy history of arrests in Sacramento County for crimes including robbery, vehicle theft, resisting arrest, and illegal drugs.

The Placer County Coroner's Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death. The officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave per department protocol. A death investigation and an internal investigation are underway.

All questions regarding this incident should be directed to Lt. Mike Doane, 916-871-3286.

Sword-Wielding Man Dies After Being Tasered

A sword-wielding man died early Friday, hours after Hampton police twice used a TASER on him.

It was the first such reported death since officers there began carrying the devices in 2003, said Paula Scheck, a Hampton Police Department spokeswoman. No deaths have been reported in the three South Hampton Roads cities that widely outfit officers with TASERs.

According to a news release from Hampton police, officers responded to a complaint involving an emergency custody order in the first block of Overlook Court about 11 p.m. Thursday. When the 36-year-old man refused to come to the door, police called one of his relatives, who came to the scene.

When officers entered the home, the man swung a samurai-style sword at them, police said. Officers used the TASER on him once, and a second time when he continued to threaten them .

The man stopped breathing, and officers called medics and performed CPR. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m., police said.

Police identified the man as Hatchel Pate Adams III of Hampton. Officers involved were placed on administrative leave while the department conducts an internal investigation, according to the news release.

The Suffolk Police Department began carrying TASERs in June 2007. Norfolk added them in February 2008, followed by Virginia Beach this April.

Suffolk has said TASERs have resulted in fewer abuse complaints. But the conducted energy devices made headlines in Norfolk in October 2008 when a police officer used a TASER three times on a brain-damaged woman.

Amnesty International claims that more than 300 people have died after being struck with TASERs. The group says the devices were responsible in about 50 of those cases.

Drug intoxication accounted for most of the other deaths.

Officer Jesus Cisneros Under Investigation for Accident that Killed Woman

Police are investigating whether an off-duty Fort Worth police officer was driving under the influence of alcohol when his unmarked police vehicle collided with another car early this morning, killing a 27-year-old woman.

Officer Jesus Cisneros was traveling west in the 3800 block of Columbus Trail when his Toyota Highlander collided with a Chrysler PT Cruiser that had been traveling south on Evening Star Drive and attempted to turn east in front of him, according to a press release issued by the Fort Worth Police Department this morning.

The Cruiser’s driver, identified by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office as Sonia Baker of Fort Worth, was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:44 a.m.

Cisneros was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in serious condition where it was determined alcohol may have been involved on the part of the off-duty officer, the release states.

The release adds, however, blood test results have not yet been returned.

“If the results reveal any alcohol in Cisneros’ system he will be immediately placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of an administrative investigation,” the release states.

The release states if the test show Cisneros had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, he will face driving while intoxicated and possibly intoxication manslaughter charges. Cisneros, 37, has been with the department since September 2001.

“This is a tragic incident and a very, very serious matter,” Lt. Paul Henderson, the department’s chief of staff states in the release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families.”

Officer Jason Anderson Fired After Being Charged with Manslaughter

Police commissioners in Milford Monday night fired a town police officer charged with manslaughter in a crash that killed two teenagers in June.

Commissioners agreed with Police Chief Keith Mello's recommendation to fire Officer Jason Anderson, of Milford.

The accident in Orange killed two 19-year-olds, David Servin and Ashlie Krakowski, both of Orange.

Police say Anderson was driving 94 miles an hour while returning from a mutual aid call in West Haven and didn't have his emergency lights or siren on when the teens' car turned in front of him on Route 1. Anderson and his lawyer have declined to comment on the allegations.

Commissioners on Monday also suspended Officer Richard Pisani for 30 days without pay. Pisani was driving alongside Anderson that night.