PA man shocked with Taser in ambulance and jailed after suffering seizure at sandwich shop
A Pennsylvania man said police shocked him with a Taser stun gun while he was being treated in an ambulance for an apparent seizure.
Darren Scott, of Upland, was jailed on $100,000 bond on charges including aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest following the March 12 incident, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Police said the 48-year-old Scott was “extremely combative,” kicked a paramedic, and grabbed and pushed a police officer, who said he believed the patient was under the influence of narcotics.
But Scott’s attorney said his client had smoked only a small amount of marijuana the night before.
An employee of Two Js Sandwich Shop told police she was waiting on Scott when she noticed his eyes roll back into his head, so she grabbed his clothes to steady him and keep him from falling.
A friend who was with Scott laid him down on the floor, where he drew up his arms and hands toward his chest and began shaking uncontrollably for a couple of minutes.
Emergency crews were called, and Scott was placed on a stretcher and taken to an ambulance over his protests.
Scott’s wife said she tried to speak to her husband – who had no history of seizures – by phone, but he was disoriented.
His friend, 30-year-old Dawan Cox, said he heard Scott scream at least three times from inside the ambulance, presumably when he was shocked with the Taser.
The paramedic, Ramona Buocolo, told Officer William Casey that Scott had not suffered a seizure, according to investigators.
Attorney Enrique Latoison said Scott, who had suffered a punctured lung and compression fractures during the seizure, felt like he was being electrocuted and arched his back.
Medical experts said a seizure would prevent someone from responding to or following orders, even from an authority.
A spokeswoman from the Epilepsy Foundation said more than 400 people each year are charged with assault or resisting arrest during or after suffering a seizure.
Both police and prosecutors are investigating the incident.
“We look at it from the perspective of what a reasonable police officer would do,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan, adding that the officer did not use the Taser until Scott kicked the paramedic in the chest.
But Scott’s attorney said is client should never have been jailed.
“You have a seizure and end up with a criminal case. How does that happen?” Latoison said.
[Image: Cop with taser via Flickr Commons]