[Hpn] Texas Taser Death

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Wed, 15 Jun 2005 17:34:59 -0400


6-14-05

Waco man dies after confrontation with police

WACO, Texas —

A Waco man has died after being shot several times with a Taser by police
during a domestic disturbance call.

Robert Earl Williams, 62, was shot about four times with a Taser on Tuesday,
and five officers were needed to handcuff him after a confrontation at his
sister's home, police said. Williams was later pronounced dead at a Waco
hospital.

According to Waco police spokesman Steve Anderson, two police officers were
called to the home of Williams' sister after receiving a report of a
domestic disturbance between Williams and his sister.

After officers arrived, a records check showed Williams was wanted because
his bond on a previous resisting arrest charge had been revoked. As officers
went to arrest Williams, he picked up a piece of ribbed steel bar, police
said.

Anderson said officers then shot him once with a Taser, a pistol-shaped
device that shoots two electrified barbs and usually renders targets
powerless.
The officers called for backup, and three other officers arrived and
struggled with Williams.

He was shot with Tasers about four times, none of which had any effect,
according to Waco police spokesman Ryan Holt.
"There was no sign that he was slowing down," he said. "He just kept
fighting officers and kept fighting officers."

The five officers managed to handcuff Williams and subdue him, Holt said.
Eventually, there were 17 officers on the scene.

Williams' size — about 6-foot and 350 pounds — may have played a role in the
struggle because Tasers often are ineffective on large people, Anderson
said. Officers used two sets of handcuffs linked together on Williams
because of his size, Anderson said.

Holt said Williams complained he was having trouble breathing after sitting
down. Officers immediately called for an ambulance. By the time the
ambulance arrived, Williams was not breathing, and officers were performing
CPR on him, Holt said.

Anderson said the five officers who arrested Williams have been placed on
paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
Williams' cause of death was unknown, and his body has been sent to Dallas
for an autopsy.
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Information from Waco Tribune-Herald,  www.wacotrib.com
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Copyright 2005, The Associated Press. .