Scottsdale-based Taser International, the manufacturer of stun guns used by police departments all over the world, is off the hook for two Taser-related deaths because the two men who died each had PCP in their systems when they were zapped by authorities.
One of the men apparently was a steroid user, too.
Taser Vice President of Communications Steve Tuttle directed us to two news reports this afternoon pointing out that the two deaths were not the result of getting electrocuted by police, but rather pre-existing medical conditions/drug use are to blame.
In the case of an Upstate New York man, 32-year-old Chad brothers, he was zapped by police in October after going berserk at a Gold's Gym.
Brothers punched another gym member before flipping over some exercise equipment. Police were called, and had to Taser the raging muscle man.
Brothers died shortly after.
Prosecutors determined that Brothers had both steroids and PCP in his system at the time of the melee, and found a pre-exsisting condition of agitated delirium brought on by his drug use was the cause of death -- not getting zapped by police Tasers.
In another case, a Michigan man, Bradford Gibson, died while in police custody after getting zapped by officers outside a bar.
Police were called when Gibson was seen harassing people outside the watering hole. When he didn't cooperate with authorities -- and bouncers -- he was zapped by the cops. He died a few hours later at the county jail.
An autopsy later revealed that Gibson didn't die from electrocution, rather a PCP overdose.
Moral of the story: Tasers are safer than PCP.
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