May 24, 2010

Taser Death: Efrain Carrion (Middleton, CT)

The family of Michael Jacobs called on police in their area to help their son when he was experiencing mental anxiety at home. The police responded by using their taser guns to electrocute the 24-year old man.

The same thing happened in Middltown, CT on May 24. Efrain Carrion was having an anxiety attack Monday night when his family called 9-1-1 to summon an ambulance, a family member said.

The 35-year-old, screaming and breathing heavy, hid under his bed. His wife, Rhode Carrion, said she and her brother-in-law had almost coaxed him out when Middletown police officers arrived at the family's apartment.

The police agree that they arrived based on a report of a despondant male in need of medical assistance. They also agree that they placed Efrain Carrion in handcuffs to allow EMS personnel to examine him.

Carrion's relatives and authorities have differing versions of what happened next. But one thing is clear: Carrion became unresponsive while struggling with police and was pronounced dead at Middlesex Hospital.

Authorities say Carrion became violent after officers put him in handcuffs. He fought with police officers, refused orders and at one point choked a police dog, using his handcuffs as weapons, police said.

Of course, the police neglect to mention that Carrion was being held in double handcuffs. The police want us to believe that this despondent man was able to bring his hands to the front and start choking a police dog which was also used to try to bring him under control as he attempted to flee.

Four out of the five officers who responded were treated for injuries. Acting Police Chief Patrick McMahon said the officers are home, recovering with their families. The police officers treated for injuries were: Sgt. James Prokop, Officer William Hertler, Officer Elias Martz and the dog handler, Officer Douglas Clark.

"If nothing leads me to believe that wrongdoing occurred, we'll get them back on the streets as soon as we can," he said.
Chief McMahon isn't fazed by the fact that an unarmed man was electrocuted in his own home by his own police force. Nope, McMahson indicated that he hasn't heard or seen anything indicating that the officers did anything wrong.

For those that are interested, the dog, Niko, was treated by a veterinarian and released.

But Rhode Carrion said the official police version of the story is a lie. Her husband didn't hit the officers or choke the police dog, she said.

"They're making him seem like he was crazy, like he's a bad man, and he's not," she said. "He never hit them, he never kicked them. He was trying to get away from them because they were Tasing him."
After her husband came out from under the bed, he sat on the floor and allowed officers to cuff him, Rhode Carrion said. He was brought to a chair in the living room. The physical violence started after Efrain Carrion slipped off the chair, she said.

The officers ordered him to get up. Her husband had trouble complying because his hands were cuffed behind his back, Carrion said. Two of the officers shot him repeatedly with taser guns and then deployed the dog, she said.

She said Efrain Carrion did not grab the dog and tumble down the stairs with it, as police have said. [SOURCE]

As Middletown police officers tried to calm him in a wooded area behind his apartment complex, Carrion became unconscious. Emergency medical personnel were unable to revive him, and he was pronounced dead after being transported to Middlesex Hospital.

Eunice Barrientos told reporters she called police to calm down her brother, Efrain Carrion who was acting irrational, but she never expected them to taser him to death.

The just tasered him and tasered him and let the dog chew him up,” the Middletown woman said.
She said after the officers were finished tasering her brother, the kicked him down the stairs as they were taking him out of the apartment.

Police admit to tasering Efrain multiple times until he lost consciousness.

State police are investigating the incident and will present their findings to the Middlesex state's attorney. The investigation should take several weeks.

An autopsy is planned to try to determine what caused his death.

Please let us know if you have any additional insights or information to add to this taser-related killing.


Iya said...

Looks like another taser involved death today (Monday) in Chatsworth, CA...northwest of Los Angeles. The headlines say the man leapt off a cliff to his death.
Quoting LA Daily News, June 7th
"After failing to talk him down, officers shot at him with non-lethal ammunition, including a Taser, around 5:30 p.m. He leapt off the boulder, sword in hand, falling at least 45 feet to the hillside below."

This is the link to the article.

Villager said...

Iya - Thank you for the link to the story of the man who jumped off the ocean cliff. I'm still uncertain if his death is correct for the list that I'm keeping. I'll keep track of the story as it goes along...

Wayne Hicks said...

The family of Efrain Carrion is suing for wrongful death in the matter of his taser-related killing.