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Death of man subdued by Taser is probed

September 11, 2007|Garrett Therolf | Times Staff Writer

The Orange County district attorney's office said Monday it was investigating the case of a 25-year-old man who died Sunday night after Anaheim police subdued him with a stun gun.

Jorge Renteria Terrquiz allegedly was beating his wife Sunday night when two police cars arrived at their apartment in the 400 block of North Armando Street, said Anaheim Police Sgt. Juan Reveles.

When the officers entered the apartment, Terrquiz allegedly attacked them. When backup units arrived, the officers fired an electric Taser gun to subdue him, Reveles said.

Terrquiz lost consciousness after he was hit, and Reveles said he did not know if the man ever regained awareness. He was taken to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Anaheim, where he died, Reveles said.

Police said they had intervened in at least one prior domestic violence case involving Terrquiz and his wife, and a restraining order was in place against him.

Officers went to the residence after receiving a hang-up call from the apartment. No evidence of drug use was immediately detected in Terrquiz, but autopsy results will take weeks, Reveles said.

The district attorney's office was notified Sunday night and investigators immediately responded to the scene, said spokeswoman Farrah Emami.

Anaheim police began using stun guns three years ago, and more than 90% of patrol officers carry them.

The weapons use compressed nitrogen to propel two darts that attach to the body. The darts are connected to the gun by a wire and deliver a 50,000-volt shock in five-second intervals to incapacitate a suspect.

Taser International has vigorously defended the weapons and cites several medical studies involving human volunteers that rebut a link between the use of the stun gun and deaths.

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garrett.therolf@latimes.com

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