87-year-old woman dies from police tasing

87-year-old woman dies from police tasing

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by KGW.com staff

kgw.com

Posted on July 12, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 23 at 4:44 PM

BORING, Ore. -- The Clackamas County sheriff's office on Monday released the names of deputies who responded to a call in which one of them used a stun gun on a 87-year-old woman who later died.

The woman threatened them with what appeared to be a black, semi-automatic handgun that turned out to be a pellet gun, said sheriff's office spokesman Lt. Paul Steigleader.

"The responding deputy sheriff's and other witnesses in the Big Valley Woods Mobile Home Park were under the impression that the pellet pistol was indeed a fully functioning firearm," Steigleader said.

The deputies had responded to a call that Owens had a gun and was threatening a man working on a water line nearby at around 2:30 p.m. Thursday. When deputies arrived at the mobile home park on SE Leewood Lane , they said she threatened them with a gun, so they used tasers to subdue her.

Steigleader pointed out that the deputy who used the stun gun, Steve Shelly, quickly started first-aid along with other responding deputies Alan Alderman, John Campbell and Jonathan Lee.

They continued administering care until paramedics arrived and took over, Steigleader said.

An autopsy showed that Phyllis Owens, 87, suffered from heart disease. She also used a pacemaker.

Dr. Larry Lewman of the medical examiner's office said that Owens had a history of heart disease, and a healthy person wouldn't have died in similar circumstances. He said he has yet to determine what effect the stun gun had on the woman's pacemaker.

Det. Jim Strovink said the woman was recently released from the hospital, and pre-existing medical problems may have contributed to her death.  Strovink said the woman may have also been suffering from dementia, he told the Associated Press.
 

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