Local News

SBI probing use of stun gun on Halifax County man who died

Posted November 23, 2011

— The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of a Halifax County man who died after a Scotland Neck police officer shocked him with a stun gun, while his family mulls filing a lawsuit.

Roger Anthony, 61, died Tuesday, one day after an officer used a stun gun on him while he was riding a bicycle. The state Office of the Medical Examiner hasn't yet determined a cause of death.

Officers were responding to a 911 call Monday night about a man who had fallen off his bicycle in the parking lot of BB&T Bank. The caller told dispatchers that the man appeared drunk and that it looked like he had hurt himself.

Officers said they repeatedly told Anthony to get off his bike, but when he didn't respond, they shocked him. Family members say Anthony had hearing problems and suffered from seizures.

Now they're considering whether to file a lawsuit against the town.

"What did they tase him for? It's hurting me. It's really hurting me," said Anthony's brother, Michael.

Michael Anthony Family of man who died after stun gun shock mulls lawsuit

Scotland Neck Mayor James Mills said Wednesday that he wouldn't blame the family for suing.

"There has been no information that this man was a threat to anybody," he said. "If I was a family member, I'm sure I'd be thinking the same way."

Mills said he has tried to get information from the police department about what happened to Anthony, but they have turned him away.

Police Chief Joe Williams says the officer is on administrative leave while the SBI conducts its investigation. He declined to comment further.

Anthony's family said they hope the case is resolved soon.

"I'm sad. I lost an uncle," Anthony's niece, Porsha Anthony, said. "Hopefully it will be (rectified) so that not another family in Scotland Neck has to go through this."

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  • thepeopleschamp Nov 25, 9:42 a.m.

    warbird, go to youtube and there is a video of a police chief somewhere who has a pacemaker and in his 50's/60's who volunteered to be tased during training. He was tased and back on his feet less than a minute.

  • warbirdlover Nov 24, 12:39 p.m.

    What happens if the person the Taser is fired into has a Pacemaker or some type of insulin pump and the shock makes the device malfunction and it gives the wrong message to the pacemaker or a lethal dose of insulin. Some people are just wired up different and have a adverse reaction to being shocked. There are just to many varibles to go shooting a Taser into a non-life treating situation. Did the officer feel like his life was in imminant danger, while he was in a car and the other persons on a Bike. Give me a break. The officer was 100% wrong. How about shooting someone on a bike is that covered in Taser Training, Hearing Inpaired Persons, Blind, Mentally challanged?????

  • thepeopleschamp Nov 24, 9:50 a.m.

    "Roger Anthony became the 700th North American citizen to die after being shocked with a TASER by police. See http://truthnottasers.blogspot.com" ysdrt06

    Please explain how over 100's of thousands of tasers have been discharged into police officers during training and there has not been one single death among them?

  • thepeopleschamp Nov 24, 9:42 a.m.

    "You never ever shoot anyone in the back, that has to be the most cowardly act now to man" warbirdlover

    The company that makes the Taser clearly states that the back is the safest place to hit someone, there is less chance that way that it would strike an eye, throat, or lower regions. That is not a secret, anyone with an once of taser training knows that.

  • warbirdlover Nov 24, 9:06 a.m.

    The LEO I know in the Southern Pines/Pinehurst area know all the locals whom display, how should I say this, Strange Behavior and boy do we have some. We have one who thinks he is Tiger Woods and walks around town with his Golf Club, but he is totally harmless. They don't go around useing them as their personal Taser shooting range. Anyone with a ounce of brains would know if you taser someone on a bike they are going to crash. You never ever shoot anyone in the back, that has to be the most cowardly act now to man. I hope this kids next job is at Wally World in the ladies undergarment section. He is to quick to jump the gun to be a LEO. Now if you want a picture of a fine young Police officer, our own local Justin Garner. He is the youngman whom run in without backup at the nursing home, and brought the shootin spree of Robert Stewart to an end, with a nonlethal shot, wich stopped Stewart. He is now a Highway Patrolman, which was his boyhood dream.

  • anonemoose Nov 23, 6:16 p.m.

    My question here is...

    This guy has been there six weeks.. Where was his field training officer?? Putting an officer out on is own with less than six weeks training is asking for a lawsuit.

    Ask and ye shall receive.

  • The2ruthHurts Nov 23, 6:02 p.m.

    "..wow I had more respect for them when they pepper sprayed than knowing they couldnt handle her without the pepper spray."

    I have a homework assignment for you. Find an uncooperative 85 yr old. Once you find that person, I want you to restrain him/her and place handcuffs with their hands behind his/her back without hurting them in any way or form. This is a pass of fail assignment. Oh and also...once you have began the encounter, do it as fast and safely as possible because you have crowd of Gandallas around you. Go!!

  • airbornemonty Nov 23, 5:58 p.m.

    This rookie made a big mistake, a mistake that might have been inbedded in his brain when he went through the taser training course. It would also do well for the authorities to check and see what the instructor of the course is teaching.

    I am also thinking that perhaps all new police officers should ride around with am experienced veteran until they gain experience. Although some not all of them will let the gestapo come out when confronted with an unruly combative person.

  • wral mods blow close my account Nov 23, 5:56 p.m.

    "I have a violin for you." The2ruthHurts

    Hope grandma with dementia doesn't cross paths with the LEOs posting here. I can see their posts now: How do we know she's not a biter? Or on PCP? I might pull a groin muscle.

    "The whole world is watching..." Gork
    +1 Thank god for youtube. Film the abuse and clean up the force. Cross the line and be booted.

  • ysdrt06 Nov 23, 5:52 p.m.

    Roger Anthony became the 700th North American citizen to die after being shocked with a TASER by police. See http://truthnottasers.blogspot.com

    In a recent ninth circuit court decision in your state of North Carolina, there was unanimous agreement that Tasers are, by legal definition, "Deadly Weapons". Should police be using such a weapon on "suspects" who fail to stop riding their bicycles???

    It took a major Public Inquiry in Canada to do it, but Canadian police have raised the Taser in the use-of-force continuum, to just below the firearm, to be used only as a last resort in truly violent, life-threatening situations. Since then, not one Canadian has died proximal to the Taser. Americans have to decide too — is it okay for police to continue to use the Taser so cavalierly?

    Should a deadly weapon be used to gain compliance? There have been too many "unintended consequences", but deaths will continue if police use the Taser the way they have.

    Concerned Canadian

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