Autopsy: Tasered man dies of cocaine toxicity

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

May 6, 2010 1:49:45 PM PDT
An autopsy revealed Thursday that a man who passed away after being Tasered in January, died due to acute cocaine toxicity.The report states 33-year-old Joe Spruill Jr. died on Jan. 27.

On that day, Wayne County deputies were called to an argument between two men in a neighborhood near Seymour Johnson Air Force Base around 5:30 a.m.

When deputies arrived, they 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 officials used a 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.

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.

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