Taser death of former inmate under investigation in Mansfield

Taser death of former inmate under investigation in Mansfield

MANSFIELD, OH (WOIO) - An investigation is underway in Mansfield after a death caused by a police stun gun. Five officers have been placed on leave as a result of the incident.

Terrance Moxley, 29, was released from jail in January. He has 41 cases in municipal court and several others in felony court. Many involve resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, domestic violence and assault. Almost immediately after turning 18, his criminal career began.

A recent drug arrest is what brought him to the prison to community reentry program at the Volunteers of America, which is a facility for housing offenders transitioning from prison.

Staff called police Tuesday shortly after 3:30 p.m. because he was out of control.

"He is having a bad reaction to something and he is swinging on people and we can't control him," said a staff member. "He is punching the wall right now. We need someone as soon as you can get them."

Police and medical personnel arrived to find the staff and probation officers standing back away from Moxley as he was displaying violent behavior. Police say Moxley appeared to be incoherent, and approximately 15 people were evacuated from the room he was damaging.

"When they got there, they used the minimum amount of force to contain him, which they did," said Lori Cope, safety service director. 

Eventually, police say Moxley calmed down enough to be handcuffed. At that time, he was then examined by medical personnel; however, he became increasingly agitated. According to medical personnel, Moxley was displaying abnormal behavior while speaking incoherently and making strange noises. 

Moxley had to be carried to a cruiser by his arms and legs, as he refused to walk, to be transported to the hospital for treatment. Police say he then became combative, while resisting and attempting to break free from the officers' grip, as well as attempting to bite officers. Officers were unable to get Moxley into the cruiser. 

According to police, Moxley was tased by officers to gain control, and two taser cartridges were expended. One officer was inadvertently tased during the struggle. 

At some point, Moxley broke free from the handcuffs and officers had to wrestle him to regain control. 

Officers then noticed Moxley was in medical distress, so he was taken to OhioHealth MedCentral Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The coroner's office, prosecutor's office, and BCI were all notified. The investigation has been turned over to RD Agents. 

Mansfield Police say all officers at the scene of the incident were placed on administrative leave per department policy. 

The 911 call, officers' tasers, and surveillance video from the facility has been held for the investigation. Toxicology tests will likely take weeks.

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