Image credit: CBS
A video taken by the California Highway Patrol may be the first time a camera has captured all of the events leading up to a cardiac arrest following the use of a TASER electronic control device.
On June 4, CHP officers stopped to check on the welfare of 50-year-old Angela Jones after finding her sitting in a parked vehicle on Haskell Avenue, near the Ventura (101) Freeway.
A camera mounted on the officers' car captured the incident.
"How much have you had to drink tonight?" an officer asked the Studio City resident.
"Nothing," Jones said.
"Nothing?" the officer responded. "What about medication or drugs?"
Officers questioned Jones for 15 minutes, suspecting she might be under the influence, and then asked to look through her purse.
"I just don't feel like I want you to take my purse from me," Jones said.
She held her purse tightly to her chest and ran back to her vehicle.
According to the arrest report, the CHP officer hit the trigger on his TASER X-26 TM three times, sending three separate jolts into Jones' chest.
"Do not move! Do not move! Stop moving!" the officer can be heard yelling.
The officers then pulled the driver out of the car, placed her on the sidewalk and realized she wasn't breathing.
"Do you have a pulse?" one officer asked.
"Subject is unresponsive," the other officer said.
One officer began performing CPR and Jones was revived.
Heart surgeon Dr. Kathy Magliato said Jones is lucky to be alive.
"It's really critically important that law officers understand that this TASER is a weapon and it can kill people," said Magliato, who also serves as president of the American Heart Association for greater Los Angeles.
Magliato told CBS2's Randy Paige, "It's awfully hard, Randy, exonerate the TASER when you see a woman who clearly was fine up until the point she was TASERed, and, then, becomes unconscious, loses her pulse and, then, is in sudden cardiac death."
The video camera recorded the episode for 40 minutes. It's likely the most complete record of the events leading up to a cardiac arrest following the use of a TASER electronic control device. However, it wasn't the first time a similar incident was captured on video.
In March 2008, store security cameras in Charlotte, North Carolina captured 17-year-old Darryl Turner as police deployed a TASER model X-26 and electrocuted him following an argument with a store manager.
The teenager collapsed just off camera and later died.
Pasadena attorney John Burton represented the Turner family in a civil trial where the jury awarded $10 million in damages. He is now preparing a lawsuit on behalf of Jones.
"This device, the TASER as it's called, is much more dangerous than the company indicates and that police believe, especially when it's shot in the chest, the electric current can take over the heart rhythm and cause cardiac arrest," Burton said. …