06/14/2005

Autopsy Finds Cocaine Led to Death of Fla. Man Subdued by Stun Gun

The Associated Press

WEST PARK, Fla.- A man subdued with a police stun gun died from cardiac arrest because of cocaine in his system, officials said.

Broward County sheriff's deputies used a stun gun on Horace Owens, 48, of Fort Lauderdale, after he broke into a home Saturday. He reportedly struggled with deputies trying to arrest him, collapsed and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The medical examiner said the cocaine in Owens' system sent him into cardiac arrest, not the electric shock, sheriff's office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said. The death was ruled accidental.

Officials were also investigating the death Monday of Michael Anthony Edwards, 32, of Putnam County, who was shocked with stun guns at least twice.

Deputies shocked Edwards after they responded to a noise complaint and saw him naked and bleeding, trying to climb a 6-foot fence behind a house. An autopsy will be conducted.

More than 100 people have died since 2001 in the United States and Canada after being shocked with stun guns.

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