05/07/2011

Man in NY in-custody death was 'acting irrationally'

NY prisoner shot twice in cell with Taser dies

WEST BABYLON, N.Y. — Police say a New York man in custody after a dispute with his neighbor was shot twice with a Taser stun gun in a prison cell and died.

Suffolk County police say officers used the electrical weapon in an attempt to subdue 40-year-old Daniel McDonnell after he began "acting irrationally" Friday morning while being held in a police station cell.

After the Taser, police say McDonnell suffered "respiratory distress" and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Authorities say his death is being investigated.

The Taser was initially conceived as an alternative to deadly force. In practice, it's often fired by police officers hoping to avoid a physical struggle or to get someone to comply with an order.

McDonnell was arrested Thursday after a dispute with a neighbor in Lindenhurst.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press

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