Subdued by Taser, man dies

January 9, 2017 GMT

Authorities are investigating the death of a Craigville man who died at a hospital about two hours after Wells County sheriff’s deputies used Taser stun guns to subdue him early Sunday.

Detectives with the Indiana State Police in Fort Wayne are investigating the death at the request of the Wells County Sheriff’s Department.

Wells County sheriff’s deputies and medics were called to a home in the 6800 block of East Market Street in Craigville, northeast of Bluffton, at 3:52 a.m. Sunday to find 34-year-old Jason Schmidt incoherent with shallow, labored breathing, state police said.

Schmidt had been huffing aerosol dusting spray and would not cooperate with medics, police said.

Two deputies arrived and, at 4:14 a.m., ordered Schmidt to exit the residence. They went inside when they received no response, police said.

Schmidt reportedly became physically combative when the deputies tried to take the aerosol can, police said. After giving Schmidt numerous commands to stop, a deputy, at 4:21 a.m., deployed his Taser, which was ineffective, police said.

The second deputy then deployed his Taser, allowing the deputies to control Schmidt with their handcuffs, police said.

Schmidt was taken to Bluffton Regional Medical Center for medical clearance before incarceration, police said. They said he walked to one of the police cars and walked into the emergency room with a deputy.

Schmidt was pronounced dead at 6:15 a.m., about an hour after arriving at the hospital, police said. The sheriff’s department requested the investigation about 15 minutes later.

An autopsy is scheduled for today in Fort Wayne.