DA says officer justified in Bend, Ore., encounter

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Associated Press

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 5 at 11:31 AM

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The Deschutes County district attorney has ruled that a Bend, Ore., police officer's use of force with a combative patient outside St. Charles Medical Center was lawful and justified. The patient later died.

KTVZ-TV reports (http://is.gd/NedFsg ) that Patrick Flaherty issued a three-page report Tuesday on his investigation into Officer Steve Craig's actions last Aug. 12.

Bend police have said 64-year-old Jerry Nichols of Bend was combative with staff at the hospital. Craig responded to a hospital call for help with an out-of-control patient. The district attorney says Nichols tried to hit the officer, who deployed a Taser. When that failed, Craig used an "open hand strike." Nichols fell and eventually went into cardiac arrest. He was resuscitated and hospitalized for eight days before he was removed from life support and died.

Barbara Nichols has said her Vietnam veteran husband was ill that day and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Information from: KTVZ-TV, http://www.ktvz.com/

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