Oldsmar man dies while being taken into custody


A man who was being taken into protective custody Wednesday died after a stun gun was used on him, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies were called to the Oldsmar home twice on Wednesday, deputies said. The first time, at about 5:15 a.m.,  Julie Degraw, 56, reported that her husband, 58-year-old Donald Degraw, was in bed screaming and grunting for no apparent reason.

Paramedics and deputies spoke with him and he claimed he was having a bad dream. He admitted he was currently taking medication for Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome and he refused medical attention. He did not meet Baker Act criteriam so paramedics and deputies left the residence.

At about 3:45 p.m., paramedics and deputies were summoned back to the Degraw residence. Julie Degraw reported that Donald Degraw was acting erratically again.

When deputies arrived, he was screaming in emotional distress. Deputies determined that his erratic behavior met the Baker Act criteria and they attempted to take him into protective custody.

Detectives say that Degraw actively resisted the deputies' attempts to take him into custody. Knowing that he had access to a loaded firearm, deputies' used a stun gun to secure him in handcuffs. 

During the course of placing Degraw in custody, however, he became unresponsive. Oldsmar Fire Rescue paramedics treated him on scene and transported him to Tampa Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Deputies said no more information will be available until the results of the autopsy are received.


(© 2016 WTSP)


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