YUBA COUNTY (CBS13) — A Yuba County family is preparing to remove life support on a man who was stunned with a Taser multiple times during an encounter with sheriff’s deputies, and is now brain dead.
The Yuba County Sheriff’s Department is saying very little about the incident, but the family of the man who is on life support says there may have been excessive force used.
Ray Guthrie will be the first to tell you that his stepson Chance Thompson was not a saint. The 35-year-old used drugs and had a criminal past. While that isn’t a question, Ray says he has plenty more.
“He was Tased multiple times, so the question is, is multiple times justified? He’s 175 pounds,” Guthrie said.
Yuba County Sheriff’s deputies confirm they got into an altercation with Thompson after someone observed him acting erratically in an unpopulated area outside Marysville. Struggling to subdue him, deputies say they used their Taser, but only said they activated it multiple times.
Thompson’s heart stopped beating on the scene. By the time medics revived him, he was brain dead. Now he is awaiting an organ harvest at Rideout Hospital.
“One tase, two times, three, four?” Guthrie said. “At some time in there you would think that he would be a non-threat especially when you have two armed officers against one unarmed individual.”
While Yuba County deputies wouldn’t speak on camera on Thursday about their Taser policy, the Police Executive Research Forum advises personnel should consider that exposure for more than 15 seconds may increase the risk of death or serious injury. There is also a higher risk of sudden death in subjects under the influence of drugs, or showing symptoms associated with excited delirium.
As Guthrie and his wife prepare to say goodbye, they are convinced Thompson’s death was avoidable.
“It’s a nonlethal weapon, but yet people are dying,” he said.
An autopsy will be conducted after Thompson passes away.