Police: Man Dies After Second Struggle with Officers - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Police: Man Dies After Second Struggle with Officers

FREMONT, Ohio (AP) - A man who won an excessive force lawsuit against a police officer 11 years ago died Saturday after he was taken into custody and shocked several times with a stun gun, authorities said.

Craig Burdine, 37, died Saturday at Fremont Memorial Hospital about two hours after he was taken to jail, according to a police news release.

Burdine tried to bite a deputy at the Sandusky County jail and was shocked with a Taser several times, a police report said. The Taser had no effect, the report said.

Jailers then called emergency medical workers because they were worried about his injuries and behavior, the report said.

Burdine stopped breathing in the ambulance and was pronounced dead at the hospital, the report said.

Police are investigating his death and an autopsy was planned. Messages seeking comment were left with police and the sheriff's office.

Police were called to a home early Saturday about a fight and found that Burdine, of Oak Harbor, was hostile and appeared drunk, the report said.

Burdine tried to bite one officer and kicked another, the report said. The officers used pepper spray to settle him down and then lifted him into a squad car, the report said.

Witnesses said Burdine had smashed his head into a glass block basement window, pounded a station wagon with a toy basketball hoop and pushed a man into a fire pit, according to the report.

A federal court jury in 2000 awarded Burdine $600,000 after deciding that a Port Clinton police officer used excessive force when he used a headlock maneuver on Burdine.

Burdine said the officer put Burdine in a headlock and choked him when he was getting off an elevator at the jail. Two Ottawa County sheriff's deputies also were held responsible because they did not intervene.

Burdine was being arrested on a drunken driving charge in 1996 when he was taken into custody. He said that he thought the officers were angry because he was swearing at them.

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