Man dies after being Tasered by deputies

Joe Spruill Jr. died after he was Tasered by Wayne County deputies.

January 27, 2010 2:18:46 PM PST
Wayne County deputies were called to an argument between two men in a neighborhood on Dollardtown Road off Hwy 111 southeast of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base around 5:30 Wednesday morning.

Investigators said Deputies Martin McAlduff and Zachary Kinlaw arrived and found 33-year-old Joe Spruill Jr. standing on a porch at 132 Thrasher Circle.

They asked him if he lived there, and he said he did. A neighbor said that he actually lived two doors down, so the deputies say they began to escort him home.

The deputies said Spruill became combative and started throwing things from his pockets at them, so they told him they were putting him under arrest for disorderly conduct. They say Spruill resisted arrest, so Deputy McAlduff used his department issued Taser to subdue him.

One barb hit Spruill in the neck and the other in the lower back.

Deputies then called for EMS - which is standard when a Taser is used. While they waited, they noticed Spruill was unresponsive. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Spruill's family said he had a weak heart and had been hospitalized over Christmas after suffering a seizure. He had only been home for a few weeks.

He was married with three children.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office said Spruill had a criminal record and they'd had to use a Taser on him in the past during arrests.

It's the department's first Taser related death. It's asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to help investigate the death.

Spruill's body was sent to the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill for an autopsy.

Deputy Mcalduff has been placed on administrative office duty pending the results of the investigation.

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