Ohio Taser death being investigated

Sept. 2, 2011 at 1:33 PM
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CLEVELAND, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Authorities in Ohio say they are investigating the death of a man being subdued by police using a Taser stun gun during an arrest.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's office ruled the death of Howard Hammon, 41, of Middleburg Heights, was caused by a combination of a physical altercation with police and Hammon's intoxication from ethanol, opiates and cannabinoids, WJW-TV, Cleveland, reported Thursday.

Hammon's obesity and cardiac hypertrophy also contributed to his death on June 13, the medical examiner said.

Police questioned Hammon after a vehicle he was driving was involved in an accident and said they found he was in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Police said as they tried to handcuff Hammon he refused to comply and they had to use a Taser several times.

A short time later Hammon was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office has declined to say if it will pursue charges against the officers involved in the arrest, WJW-TV reported.

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