Bipolar man dies in police custody
Talent resident stops breathing after being Tasered and subdued
A Talent [Oregon] man reported to have bipolar disorder died Wednesday night, shortly after being Tasered, subdued and handcuffed by Jackson County sheriff’s deputies at a home in the 6800 block of Wagner Creek Road.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department was called at 10:20 p.m. to respond to an “unknown medical reaction” suffered by 23-year-old Christopher Ladue, a news release said.
Police said Ladue was in his parents’ backyard, on his back, flailing his arms. Family members brought him into the house where he “mildly assaulted” his father, and broke a porch railing and flowerpot before running off.
He then ran to a neighbor’s home and tried to get in, police said. Talent and Phoenix police found him and tried to make an arrest.
Police said Ladue resisted, and each officer used a Taser with a dart pack to subdue him. The darts struck Ladue but had no effect, police said.
He ran back into the road and confronted officers again, prompting a fight, the news release said. Officers said they again fired Taser darts at him with no effect. They also applied a Taser to him directly and used pepper spray unsuccessfully, police said.
While held on the ground with the three officers on top of him, Ladue struggled and was attempting to get up, police said. After a short struggle, officers overpowered and handcuffed him.
Ladue’s heart stopped shortly afterward. Nearby medical personnel, who had come to the initial call for help and had been standing by, immediately attempted to resuscitate Ladue before transporting him to Rogue Regional Medical Center in an ambulance. He died an hour later, police said.
“We’re assuming it’s medical at this point,” said Capt. Monte Holloway of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department. “There are too many variables and unknowns right now.”
Court records show Ladue had no prior criminal history in Jackson County.
The case is under investigation by Major Assault Death Investigation Unit detectives. An autopsy was scheduled for today.
A woman who answered the phone at the Ladue home Thursday morning said the family was “devastated” over the incident but did not wish to comment further.
This is the second death of a person in police custody in a week. Joseph Matthew Vavrosky, 42, died Aug. 28 after an Oregon State Police trooper pulled him over during an interagency drunken driving operation. Vavrosky ran from the vehicle, crossing the Interstate 5 viaduct and running toward Biddle Road. Officers pursuing him attempted to shoot their Tasers, which they said missed. Vavrosky was arrested by Medford police near McAndrews Road as he hid in bike path bushes. He collapsed shortly after his arrest and died. An autopsy to determine the cause of his death was inconclusive.
Scott Chappell, 44, of Eagle Point, also died shortly after police used a Taser on him in June. A veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Chappell reportedly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He, too, was Tasered and wrestled to the ground by police officers before being subdued.
The use of Tasers in law enforcement has come under scrutiny in the past few years nationally, though no definite conclusions have been drawn. The advocacy group Amnesty International says about 500 people nationwide have been killed by Taser use since 2001 and a study by the American Heart Association said Tasers can cause cardiac arrest.
However, a study from the National Institute of Justice, released in 2010, found that “while exposure to conducted energy devices (such as Tasers) is not risk-free, there is no conclusive medical evidence that indicates a high risk of serious injury or death from the direct effects of CEDs.”
Third In-Custody Death This Year [for Jackson County, Oregon]
Police were forced to deploy a taser in an effort to restrain a 23-year-old Talent man Wednesday night. After that, Christopher Ladue, Jr. was pronounced dead on the way to a local hospital. Wednesday night’s incident marks the third in-custody death in Jackson County this year.
Christopher Ladue, Jr. became erratic and police struggled to get him in handcuffs, forcing officers to use a taser twice. Back on June 13th, a man police believed suffering from a mental episode became “erratic”.
An Eagle Point officer fired a stun gun to Scott Chappell, he died in the ambulance on the way to a hospital. On August 29th, a man reportedly running from Medford Police officers collapsed in their arms after being handcuffed. A taser was deployed but police don’t know if it hit Joseph Vavrovsky.
Jackson County Captain Monty Holloway doesn’t believe this is an unusual amount of in custody deaths for the area over the course of a year. Holloway also says these events don’t impact their attempts to control people who are a danger to officers and the public. He says it’s only speculative to draw any similarities between these three incidents. Holloway also added, part of training for Jackson County officers involves experiencing a taser deployment first hand.
Talent Man With Bipolar Disorder Dies In Police Custody
A 23-year old Talent resident with bipolar disorder died in police custody last night. Authorities responded to a medical call at 10:18 p.m. on Wagner Creek Road after Christopher Ladue Jr. had an unknown medical reaction. He was lying on his back in the backyard flailing his arms. His parents and a friend brought him inside. The younger Ladue assaulted his father, broke a porch railing and flower pot, and ran away.
He tried entering a neighbor’s home, and about that police confronted Ladue. He refused to comply, and a taser was used on Ladue, with no initial effect.
After running from the property out on to Wagner Creek Road, a struggled ensued between Ladue and police, with more taser darts fired.
Shortly after police handcuffed, Ladue reportedly coded. Paramedics who were already on the scene for a medical call, administered aid, including CPR.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department learned later that Ladue died at RVMC after being transported to the hospital by ambulance. An autopsy is scheduled, and detectives are investigating the case. Ladue had no police record.
Investigation Under Way Into Police-Custody Death
From OPB.org, September 7, 2012
The Jackson County Sheriff’s office says it could be six to eight weeks before a toxicology report comes back on a Talent man who died in police custody this week.
Christopher Ladue’s heart stopped beating shortly after he was arrested on Wednesday night.
According to police, Ladue’s parents called when the 23 year old had a bad reaction after smoking an unidentified substance. The parents told police their son had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Andrea Carlson, the public information officer for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, says police caught up with Ladue some time later.
“They tried to get him under control and to help him and he was not compliant,” Carlson says. “So a Taser was used from both officers using dart packs. And despite direct hits from both of those packs, neither had any effect on him.”
Carlson says Ladue ran. After police caught up with him they used pepper spray and a second round of Tasers.
Ladue’s heart stopped beating shortly after he was taken into custody. Efforts to resuscitate Ladue were unsuccessful.
Carlson says the case is now under investigation by Jackson County Major Assault Death Investigation Unit.
Investigation Under Way Into Police-Custody Death