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Friday, March 21, 2008

FL- Naked sex offender, Tasered by deputies, dies

3-21-2008 Florida:

A naked and belligerent Deerfield Beach man, who Broward sheriff's deputies Tasered when he resisted arrest, died in BSO custody early Friday.

James Garland, 41, was unconscious when he arrived at Imperial Point Hospital in a BSO cruiser some time after 4 a.m., BSO said. He was later pronounced dead.

The Broward County Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy Friday to determine Garland's cause of death. BSO has directed the office not to release its findings at this time, said Wendy Crane, a medical investigator.

According to a BSO release, here's what happened:

At about 4:15 Friday, deputies responded to a 911 call at the Hillsboro Boulevard bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway of a man walking in traffic, waving his shirt.

When they arrived, they found Garland strolling naked past the Ocean Boulevard Condominium at 191 SE 20 Ave.

Deputies tried to detain him, but he became angry, and refused to comply. Deputies hit him with a stun gun, and were able to take Garland, who became violent, into custody.

Garland continued to rage. Paramedics, fearful of his behavior, refused to transport him to the hospital, and so he was taken by a marked patrol car.

At some point, Garland lost consciousness, and later died.

He has had 10 arrests in Broward County in the last six years, mostly for drug-related offenses. Garland spent six months in prison from late 2002 through early 2003 following a possession of cocaine conviction.

It is not known if cocaine was in his system at the time of his death, said Jim Leljedal, a BSO spokesman.

The police use of Tasers has drawn national scrutiny, as the practice has led to dozens of deaths in recent years. In many instances, those killed were high on cocaine, a stimulant, at the time that 50,000 volts are sent through their body.

In January, a Coral Gables man died after he was Tasered. Police say Xavier Jones, 29, was causing a commotion and resisting arrest at a Coral Gables hotel when he was Tasered.

Garland, of 167 NW 2nd St., is a registered sex offender. In 1991, a Grady, Ga., jury convicted him of molesting a child, according to Florida's sexual offenders database. ..more.. by

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