An Elbert County sheriff's deputy was justified in using a Taser to help detain an armed man who died shortly after, according to a review by the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office. The …
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An Elbert County sheriff's deputy was justified in using a Taser to help detain an armed man who died shortly after, according to a review by the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
The suspect, Christopher Poer, was found to have died in April from a combination of the consumption of a "toxic-lethal" level of amphetamine, prior health issues and use of the Taser, according to a report released Oct. 31 and signed by Elizabeth Oldham, chief deputy district attorney.
The deputy, Christopher Dickey, and two other deputies responded to a home on Private Road 188 near Hillside Trail in northwestern Elbert County the night of April 12.
Poer, 46, had contacted the sheriff's office and was acting irrationally, the report stated. A woman told deputies Poer had pointed a gun at her. After arriving on the scene shortly before 8 p.m., deputies reported hearing gunfire in a field behind the home.
A couple minutes later, deputies encountered Poer, who was lying on the ground. Fearing he was still armed, deputies told Poer to put his "hands up," according to the report. Poer did not comply and instead "extended his hand as if reaching for something."
Deputies found a hangun near Poer's foot and secured the weapon, and then attempted to hadcuff a physcially combative Poer, the report said. In an effort to control him, Dickey used his Taser on Poer's back and a leg. With the assistance of another deputy, Poer was handcuffed.
"Almost immediately" after, deputies noticed Poer was foaming at the mouth and called for an ambulance, according to the report. Shortly after, Poer was found to not have a pulse and a deputy began CPR. Poer was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:06 p.m.
The incident was investigated by the 18th Judicial District Critical Response Team, and evidence was reviewed by Oldham.
"Based on my review of all evidence in this case, I find that Deputy Dickey acted appropriately when he used the Taser device on Mr. Poer and that he complied with all Colorado statutes with respect to the use of force by a peace officer," Oldham wrote in the report's conclusion.
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