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Man Dies After Tussling With County Police, Taser Used

Man Dies After Tussling With County Police, Taser Used

(Stock Photo)

The Washington Post via YellowBrix

January 19, 2010

A 36-year-old District man died Sunday night after struggling with Arlington County police officers who used a Taser in an attempt to subdue him, authorities said.

Arlington police said William R. Bumbrey III, who was suspected of stealing from a pharmacy, was on the platform at the Pentagon City Metro station when an officer approached him. Police said the officer used his Taser, which administers an electric jolt and is designed to be safer than a firearm, after Bumbrey became aggressive and refused to respond to spoken orders.

Police said it is unclear whether the Taser’s probes struck Bumbrey, who then struggled with the officer and a second one who arrived to assist. Bumbrey later died. Police did not identify the two officers but said they were placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an investigation, as is routine.

Detective Crystal Nosal, a police spokeswoman, said it is the first time a death has occurred in Arlington after an incident involving police use of a Taser. The devices have been in the department’s arsenal since 2004, and police said they use them, on average, fewer than 20 times each year.

Nosal said the incident began about 8 p.m. Sunday, when officers were searching for a man after reports of a theft from a pharmacy. She said Bumbrey matched the thief’s description and was carrying items similar to those that had been reported stolen.

Nosal said Bumbrey was “very aggressive,” didn’t respond to spoken commands and physically assaulted the officer who approached him. The officer deployed his Taser, Nosal said, but Bumbrey was not incapacitated. ad_icon

“He was still struggling,” Nosal said. She said that because Bumbrey apparently did not react to the Taser shot, police question whether the Taser made contact with him.

A second officer who went to the scene helped restrain and handcuff Bumbrey, Nosal said. She said that it is routine to call for medics when a Taser is deployed and that the officers did so. The officers soon realized that Bumbrey was in serious medical distress.

Bumbrey was pronounced dead at a hospital, Nosal said. She said that the medical examiner’s office will seek to determine a cause of death and that police have asked it to conclude whether the Taser’s probes struck Bumbrey.

Bumbrey’s family could not immediately be reached to comment.

  • Car6_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Glad to hear no officers were hurt, too bad the perp didn't listen.

  • Img_0035_max50


    over 4 years ago


    It initially looks like the officers did everything right. He became combative and they deployed a less-than-lethal device. It wouldn't surprise me if there were other things on board him that could have caused cardiac arrest or some other ailment. Due to recent case law, Tasers are now considered just below firearms in our "use of force matrix". I like them, but with the liability and case law I see coming form their use, I refuse to carry one. Either I use my baton, hands, or OC, or I'm using my gun.

  • A_eagle_7_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I am glad the officers are ok. DON'T FIGHT THE POLICE!!!

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    over 4 years ago


    First rule of police contact: Do as you are told !! When that happens, everything else is a piece of cake for everyone. When that doesn't happen, things go downhill quickly. Simple but true.

  • P1010076_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Ironpig, if the job wasn't so hazardous, I'd say go for it and see what happens lol.

    Though, attacking an officer after a crime was committed is just asking for more trouble than you can shake a stick at. It's sad that the guy died though =(, even if he was being a fool.

  • Ba_old_glory_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Happy all Officers are ok. Is there an echo in here? DON'T FIGHT THE POLICE!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    I can hear the keystrokes now from some lowlife lawyer typing the 1983 violation on behalf of this person's family. It's a shame. I'm happy the Officers were not injured.

  • Cdcr_badge_max50


    over 4 years ago


    FOUR WORDS: Don't fight the cops.

    Common sence.

  • 119_1923_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Don't fight the police.....simple

  • White_shirt_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Glad the officers are okay. Bumbrey wrote the script.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    This is simple... From the book "How To Win Your Encounter With The Police"

    Comply with orders.

    Sorry, the "book" is really short.

  • Andrea_and_i_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Waiting to hear the results on this one.... taser deaths so rare....

  • P23-2_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Well he won't be doing that again will he?

  • Ribbon_max50


    over 4 years ago


    If he had not been "tussling" with the Officer, he might still be here.............

  • Big_bad_pig_max50


    over 4 years ago


    "physically assaulted the officer who approached him" I'm sorry he died but you NEVER put your hands on the Police. I guess the liberal media would want us to talk gently to him, ask him what's wrong and if he needed a friendly hug and a handshake to get to the real underlying problem of why he was having a bad day. Jeesh!

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