Calif. man dies at hospital after being hit with TASER

Man had cocaine in his system and appears to have died from 'excited delirium syndrome'

By Sarah Rohrs
Vallejo Times Herald

VALLEJO, Calif. — A Vallejo man died in a hospital late Tuesday afternoon after police officers deployed Tasers on him following his alleged assault on an elderly neighbor, police reported.

The incident stemmed from a call police received from an elderly woman in the 300 block of San Marcus Drive in the Vallejo Mobile Estates about 4:24 p.m. Tuesday.

Michael White, 47, of Vallejo reportedly assaulted and injured the woman at her front door, police said. She managed to escape his grasp to call 911 while he reportedly went back across the street to his own home.

When officers arrived, the woman told them White, a parolee, had been violent and delusional.

Officers spoke with White at his residence where they found him to be "irrational, delusional and refusing to comply with officers' directions," according to a police report.

He then became violent and charged at officers, who used Taser stun guns on him in an effort to subdue him, according to a VPD statement.

Vallejo Lt. Abel Tenorio said officers used several Tasers on White, but did not shoot him with any other weapons.

Tenorio said White continued to wrestle with officers, and kicked and screamed as they tried to control him, put him in handcuffs and get him onto a medical gurney.

After several minutes of struggling with White, paramedics got him into an ambulance and took him to Kaiser Permanente, Vallejo where he was pronounced dead.

White was on parole and had a criminal history, including assaults on other peace officers, according to the VPD report.

The police Taser incident comes nearly six years after the death of Andrew Washington, who died Sept. 16, 2004, after police shocked him with a Taser stun gun behind Hogan High School.

The young man apparently ran from Vallejo police after crashing a friend's car that police suspected he had stolen.

Authorities initially ruled the death an accident, according to news reports, caused by "cardiac arrest ... and cocaine and alcohol intoxication," but family members claim police lacked the proper training to use the stun gun.

Washington's mother said her son was shocked 17 times in a three-minute period. The incident led to a lawsuit against the city accusing officers of excessive force.

Associated Press
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