Friday, July 04, 2008

Tased 17-Year-Old Died from Dysrhythmia and Fibrillation

Back in March of 2008, a North Carolina teen died after being tased (Pam blogged about it here). The incident occurred at the store where he worked following an argument over stolen hot pockets. His mother had made the teen go back to the store to return the stolen items.

An autopsy has found that the teen "died of acute ventricular dysrhythmia and ventricular fibrillation":
Autopsy results released this week reveal why a 17-year-old who police shot with a Taser died in March.

Darryl Turner was in an altercation with his boss at the Food Lion on Prosperity Church Road in north Charlotte when someone called police. Police said he was highly agitated when an officer shot him with a Taser. Turner was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

Turner's autopsy says the stress of the situation and the shock from the Taser was too much for his body to handle. It says he died of acute ventricular dysrhythmia and ventricular fibrillation. In other words, his heart was pumping so fast and irregularly that he died.

The report states Turner did not have heart problems and he didn't have drugs in his system except for the medicines emergency workers used trying to save his life.

Turner's grandfather, Donald Fontenot, saw the report and said he's angry."

Very much so. Why wouldn't I be? You know, you take a 17-year-old child away," he said.

Turner's family has not said whether they plan to sue police. They hired an attorney in March after a witness said Turner was obeying the officer’s commands when he was shocked. Police said Turner had been threatening the officer.

Police are doing their own internal investigation to see if the officer who used the Taser followed the rules. That officer is back on active duty after being put on administrative leave following the incident.
Taser International doesn't take kindly to such autopsy findings; expect a team of lawyers for the company to descend on Charlotte, suit papers in hand.