ALBANY, Ore. – One person is dead after an Albany police officer used a Taser during a struggle with a stranded driver Wednesday morning.
The man was James Plymell III, 45, of Albany.
Per standard protocol the officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave.
Those officers are identified as officers Emily Schroff, Gina Bell, Thomas Roten and community service officer Gerry Morris, all of the Albany Police Department.
Earlier, police said a community service officer contacted the driver on Santiam Road at Denver Street at about 8:20 a.m. The officer requested non-emergency help from a patrol officer, who arrived on scene. During the interaction, officers attempted to take Plymell into custody.
Then, they said the driver assaulted the community service officer during a physical altercation.
Additional patrol officers were called for as Plymell continued to fight with the officers, police said.
After an officer used a Taser on Plymell, he went limp and became unconscious, they said. Officers used cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and an automated external defibrillator (AED), but Plymell died at the scene.
Pete Yeager, who works at an auto body shop right next to where the incident happened, said he witnessed the whole scene.
"She runs up and says, 'Don't resist, don't resist, stop resisting, I'm gonna tase you.' And they're still wrestling around, so she reached her hand over the door, and you see the other officers step back a bit to get out of the way of the Taser, 'cause she's obviously gonna tase him. And she tased him twice," Yeager said.
Police secured the scene and notified the Linn County Major Crimes Team. The incident is being treated as a deady-force incident. Oregon State Police are leading the investigation.
"She tased him, and then all I could see of him was his shoulders and head. When he was tased, you seen him get real stiff and then slide down the seat, and when they were tasing him, he was yelling, he yelled twice, 'You're killing me, you're killing me,'" Yeager said.
Anyone with information should contact Oregon State Police Major Crimes Detective Cassi Hegney at 503-375-3555.
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