Man Pepper Sprayed to Death; No Charges Filed.

Josh_R

Registered User
#1
WTF?
Photo shows pepper-sprayed prisoner
Updated: Thursday, 15 Dec 2011, 5:19 AM EST
Published : Wednesday, 14 Dec 2011, 11:37 PM EST

Doug Smith
FOX 13 Investigative reporter
TAMPA - No doubt you've heard the adage: a picture is worth a thousand words. A picture of 62-year-old Nick Christie could be worth thousands of dollars when a jury sees it.

The photo shows the Ohio man restrained inside the Lee County Jail with his body covered in pepper spray.

"This photo is a picture of a man who is strapped to a chair naked inside a jail for hours with a hood over his face. That evokes thoughts of being tortured," says Cleveland-based lawyer Nick DiCello who represents the Christie family.

The photo, which was obtained by FOX 13's investigative unit, was taken in the final hours of Christie's life.

The District 21 Medical Examiner ruled his death was a homicide because he had been restrained and sprayed with pepper sprayed by law enforcement officers. But to this day, nobody has ever been charged with a crime, and the Lee County State Attorney cleared the sheriff's office of any wrong doing.

It's been more than two and a half years and his wife still can't accept what happened.

"I was shocked. This was something out of a horror movie," says Joyce Christie. She said her husband was depressed and was showing signs of erratic behavior a few days before leaving for Florida.

She called authorities and pleaded with them to take her husband to a hospital and be given his medications. Instead, he was taken to jail for disorderly intoxication.

Her lawsuit alleges he was pepper sprayed 10 times over a 48-hour period, at times while in a restraint chair.


Tom DePolis spent more than 30 years in law enforcement at the Tampa Police Department and Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. He's seen first-hand the effects of pepper spray and knows its limitations. He can see no reason for deputies to repeatedly pepper spray Nick Christie since he was already in custody.

"The purpose is to temporarily incapacitate someone -- temporarily, that's the key word, so you can restrain them," says DePolis.

Monshay Gibbs was a deputy trainee at the jail at the time. In a video deposition, she testified that she thought the way Nick Christie was treated was excessive.

"He had a spit mask on and was naked," she said on the video while under oath. Gibbs testified that Christie pleaded with guards to take off the spit mask because he couldn't breathe.

He later died at the hospital. His heart failed from the shock of the pepper spray. The Lee County Sheriffs Office declined to comment on our story because of Joyce Christie's wrongful death lawsuit, which is scheduled for trial the middle of next year.
 

JoeyDVDZ

Well-Known Member
Donator
#2
Sounds like these cops got a little excitable there...
 
#3
Little more info:

Pepper Sprayed Man Dies In Jail - What Happened To Nick Christie?

The widow of an Ohio man who died in police custody in Fort Myers, Florida last March, will file a federal lawsuit for violating her husband’s constitutional rights by failing to recognize that he was mentally ill.

Joyce Christie, of Girard, Ohio, and her son, plan to file the action against the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Prison Health Services (PHS), the private company that oversees medical care for the jail, which had taken custody of Nicholas Christie for trespassing.

Her attorney, Nick DiCello (IB member), of the Cleveland firm of Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber LLP, says his firm has filed the notices required under Florida state law of an intention to sue.

“Letters of intent to file a civil lawsuit for medical malpractice, wrongful death, and civil rights violations, negligence, pain and suffering have been sent,” he tells IB News.

Christie, 62, was arrested last March after traveling from Ohio to Fort Myers while suffering, what his widow describes as a mental breakdown. Arrested twice for disorderly conduct and trespassing, Nick Christie was pepper sprayed ten times over the course of his 43-hour custody.

Suffering from emphysema, COPD, back and heart problems, the jail staff said his medical files were not available or immediately sought at the time of his arrest. But DiCello says Christie gave his medical history and list of medications to the jail days earlier during his first encounter with law enforcement.

His medication list was found in the back pocket of his pants when Christie’s personal effects were returned to his widow.

What Happened To Nick Christie?

Sometime between the time he was arrested on March 27, 2009 around 2:00 p.m., and March 31 at1:23 p.m. when he was pronounced dead, Christie had been sprayed with ten blasts of pepper spray, also known as OC (Oleo-resin Capsicum), which is a derivative of cayenne pepper.

The medical examiner has ruled his death a homicide.

On January 6, the Lee County State Attorney’s office mimicked a lengthy investigation by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, clearing the officers of any wrongdoing in the death.

Assistant State Attorney Dean Plattner and Chief Investigator Kevin Smith found the jailers did not break policy guidelines. A separate internal review of policy was not conducted and the five corrections officers have remained on the job.

“My blood is boiling,” Joyce Christie, 59, told the News-Press. “I knew it was going to end this way because the corrections officers were never taken off their jobs during the investigation.”

A Failure to Indict

Assistant State Attorney Dean Plattner says in his memo that in order to prove manslaughter, the office would have to prove someone showed a "reckless disregard for human life" to the extent that they should have known it would likely cause death or great bodily injury.

"The facts of the case do not support this level of proof,” says the office.

Attorney DiCello says he is shocked that the state attorney didn’t come to the conclusion there was a crime.

“All he needs to come to a conclusion that there was probable cause there was a crime. The local community should have been given the opportunity to indict. They weren’t given that opportunity,” he says.

DiCello says despite the state attorney's conclusion, the federal case has a different standard of review.

“They have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt there was some type of criminal intent. We have to prove it fell beneath the standard of care and these officers knew they were violating this man’s constitutional rights.”

DiCello says strapping an obese, 62-year-old with a heart condition and COPD to a restraining chair, pepper spraying him and not allowing him water to wash off should qualify.

“Case law as a matter of law defines that conduct as a violation of constitutional rights and affords it no protection under the law,” he says.

The standard of care is established by the county and Prison Health Services, under contract with Lee County for $9 million annually, one of 160 contracts PHS holds nationwide.

Lee County, Sgt. David Valez, tells IB News the company is NCCHC accredited and “they must maintain that high standard.” There is no independent review by the county.

Under the contract, PHS is responsible for conducting a medical evaluation of everyone coming into the system.

Never Saw A Doctor

His jailers say Nicholas Christie was combative, despite the fact that he was restrained in a chair so he allegedly wouldn’t spit at his jailers.

But three inmates who shared Christie’s cell block told the Fort Meyers News-Press that they thought the use of pepper spray was excessive and that deputies ignored the victim’s pleas for help.

“While he was sitting in the chair, they sprayed him two more times,” said Ken Cutler. His whole head was turning purple and almost blue,” he says, “He was gasping.”

The other inmates say the pepper spray was so intense they were gagging in the cell block.

“He was constantly telling them I can’t breathe and I got a heart condition,” he says.

Dr. Robert Pfalzgraf, deputy chief medical examiner, concluded that stress caused by restraint and pepper spray were irritants and stressors to his heart. He says that 99 percent of the time those sprayed do not die. Christie was the 1 percent.

The medical examiner’s report indicates that the death was caused by “hypoxic encephalopathy following resuscitation for cardiac arrest, cardiac shock with congestive heart failure, physiologic stress following restraint and noxious effects of oleoresin capsicum.”

A homicide does not necessarily mean that the death was a criminal act only that it was caused by a person or persons.

DiCello says take a look at Pepper Spray on YouTube videos to see it can down someone for 40 minutes, even if it is washed off.

“You’ll see Marines crying, now imagine being sprayed ten times, you’re obese, have COPD and having a manic episode. Ten times and the last time not washed down for a half hour strapped down so you can’t rub his eyes.”

Mental Health Issues

Joyce Christie told IB News last June that her husband had started showing signs of mania. He had recently retired and thought he was going to go fishing, she said, but diverticulitis shut down his colon, then he went into a depression after being hospitalized for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Christie had quit smoking years ago, but the former boilermaker worked around asbestos and nuclear power plants, she says.

His doctors had prescribed Lexapro for his depression and Joyce blames the medication for his high and low mood swings. Patients on Lexapro report mood swings and paranoia among a host of side effects, so it is advised patients gradually withdraw from the drug.

His doctor had planned to take him off the drug, but she says her husband’s medical surveillance fell between the cracks when the doctor left to work somewhere else.

In the meantime, while in Ohio, Christie was planning to paint the garage floor and take apart, clean, and re-assemble lawn furniture. He had become more outgoing and talkative, she said. When he suddenly left to go to Fort Myers to visit his brother, he went to a mall and opened a department store account, things he hadn’t done before.

Joyce Christie was so concerned she says she contacted the Lee County Sheriff’s office and issue a welfare BOLO (Be On The Lookout). Ms. Christie even had the sheriff of her home town contact Lee County to stress the seriousness of her husband’s condition and the fact that he needed to take his medication.

“He begged them to take Nick to the hospital. They said he’s having a good time, he needs a few days away. All they had to do was say ‘Let us talk to your doctor to confirm.' They didn’t do it. Captain Begowski told the officer, ‘If you don’t take him now, I’m going to tell you, you’re going to be dealing with him in a couple of hours.’”

That forecast proved true.

Christie ended up at a North Fort Myers hotel. He was initially arrested for disorderly intoxication and causing a disturbance. The counter woman at Arby’s gave Nick a free coffee because she thought he had Alzheimer’s disease.

Joyce says her husband couldn’t remember her number, or his son’s. Two days later on March 27, he was arrested again for trespassing.

This time when officers took her husband into custody, Joyce says they locked his medications in his truck and never retrieved them.

Joyce frantically flew to Fort Myers March 28, but police would not let her see Nick. She says they wouldn’t even tell him she was there. Finally, an officer suggested she could bond him out of police custody.

When she finally was allowed to see her husband it was too late.

He had been taken by ambulance to Gulf Coast Hospital where Joyce says Nick’s eyes were taped shut and he had 40 tubes taped to his body. Doctors told her he had a 10 percent chance to live. The nurses told her when he was brought in naked that he had so much pepper spray on him doctors had to change their gloves as they became saturated with the orange spray.

No one in the sheriff’s office had contacted her, and until he arrived at the hospital, Nick Christie had never seen a doctor. Someone in the hospital, shocked by his condition, suggested she contact an attorney.

“Nick had a life he was somebody my husband, a father to my son. He’s somebody I miss very much. It shouldn’t have happened. He should be here. Three weeks later I get his ashes back from Florida in a mail truck. My husband, he was somebody, he wasn’t just a nobody,” Joyce Christie says.

Attorney Nick DiCello says the state attorney's report clearing the officers will not hurt the federal case. The fact that Christie was sprayed at least once after being restrained in a chair with a hood over his head violates any qualified immunity defense the county and Prison Health Services may claim.

Besides a violation of the law, DiCello is concerned about the violation of another human being.

“Humanity has failed here. And now they aren’t going to address the failure. Us as a people, we need to recognize we’ve all failed and make it right, not ‘Let’s just move on from this failure.’ People shouldn’t do this to people. Nothing could warrant the treatment and death this guy experienced.

"A 62-yr-old retiree strapped to a chair and died. I don’t get it.”
Link

I wondered if they videoed him getting strapped in etc... as I have seen on that Jail show they shoot video every time those time out chairs are used.
 
#4
I thought the whole purpose of those restraining chairs and hoods was so that the suspect can't harm the officers or himself. Once he's in the chair with the hood over his face, why the hell would he need to be sprayed again?
 
#5
I thought the whole purpose of those restraining chairs and hoods was so that the suspect can't harm the officers or himself. Once he's in the chair with the hood over his face, why the hell would he need to be sprayed again?
Well I think you can only be strapped in the chair so long... so wondering if he resisted... got sprayed... put in chair... calms down... let out of chair... freaked outs again... sprayed... put in chair... etc...
 

Yesterdays Hero

She's better than you, Smirkalicious.
#6
Isn't SOP to dump them in a holding cell till they calm down? Where's Motorhead at?
 

Josh_R

Registered User
#8
He says that 99 percent of the time those sprayed do not die. Christie was the 1 percent.
Then fuck him maaaaaannnnn!

Kidding, kidding. This is so fucked up. I hope the family wins the civil suit at least.
 

Yesterdays Hero

She's better than you, Smirkalicious.
#9
After fully reading said story, the whole thing seems off. No word from the Sheriff's Dept? Nothing beyond why he was arrested?
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
#10
I don't like the wording of the story. A homicide is a killing of a person by a person. That's it. The story said it was ruled a homicide like that's a guilty verdict. If some gang banger breaks into your house with an automatic weapon and you kill him with a fork, that's a homicide. It just happens to be justifiable self defense.

I didn't read past that. I'll comment on the actual story later... just wanted to rant.
 

DJ Evel Ed

SativaCross.com
#11
Why are women guards allowed to see convict cock? Are male guards allowed to see convict cunt?
Are there no privacy rights for convict cock and cunt?
 

Stig

Making America So Great You Won't Believe It.
#12
I think some pigs have gotta die for this one.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
#13
Sounds like the cops were forced into dealing with this guy, because the wife wasn't willing to pay medical professionals to do it. Even if they did something wrong, why should she get any money out of it?
 

Josh_R

Registered User
#14
Sounds like the cops were forced into dealing with this guy, because the wife wasn't willing to pay medical professionals to do it. Even if they did something wrong, why should she get any money out of it?
Because they were made aware that he had medical conditions (his medication was in his pants pocket when arrested), and they did not give him medical care or even request his medical records.
 

KRSOne

Registered User
#17
One law for us, another for them. This is why you don't get involved with cops. They aren't there to protect and serve anymore so just stay out of their line of sight.
 

Fustercluck

Registered User
#18
One law for us, another for them. This is why you don't get involved with cops. They aren't there to protect and serve anymore so just stay out of their line of sight.
If your ever in a position to deal with cops, your guilt or innocence doesn't matter to them, realize that you're probably going to die. Might as well take as many of them out as possible. I suggest running them over.
 

Josh_R

Registered User
#19
Sounds like the cops were forced into dealing with this guy, because the wife wasn't willing to pay medical professionals to do it. Even if they did something wrong, why should she get any money out of it?
Oh, and this:

Monshay Gibbs was a deputy trainee at the jail at the time. In a video deposition,she testified that she thought the way Nick Christie was treated was excessive.

"He had a spit mask on and was naked," she said on the video while under oath. Gibbs testified that Christie pleaded with guards to take off the spit mask because he couldn't breathe.
 

Hudson

Supreme Champion!!!!!
Donator
#20
hypoxic encephalopathy following resuscitation for cardiac arrest , cardiac shock with congestive heart failure ,physiologic stress following restraint and noxious effects of oleoresin capsicum.”
Translation: Not enough air got to his brain. Did they not intubate and bag the guy??
 

Lord Zero

Viciously Silly
#21
Translation: Not enough air got to his brain. Did they not intubate and bag the guy??
They did - they used a bag to pump the pepper spray directly into his lungs. It was quite efficient.
 

Mags

LDAR, bitch.
Donator
#22
Aw. Can't take a lil Tabasco?

Lightweight.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
#23
I'm not saying the cops shouldn't face charges. Just that the wife shouldn't get a pay day. She failed to take care of what she claims was an ill husband too, and passed the problem onto the cops.

Had she hired a doctor who then proceeded to neglect his duties, she would be entitled to sue. Had the cops been called to do some Police work, and then proceeded to neglect their duties, once again she'd be entitled to sue. But if you call the cops to help you with a medical issue, you are not entitled to sue when they do a poor job.

The cops can still be punished for any criminal wrongdoing of course, but they are not liable to this woman.
 
#24
I'm not saying the cops shouldn't face charges. Just that the wife shouldn't get a pay day. She failed to take care of what she claims was an ill husband too, and passed the problem onto the cops.

Had she hired a doctor who then proceeded to neglect his duties, she would be entitled to sue. Had the cops been called to do some Police work, and then proceeded to neglect their duties, once again she'd be entitled to sue. But if you call the cops to help you with a medical issue, you are not entitled to sue when they do a poor job.

The cops can still be punished for any criminal wrongdoing of course, but they are not liable to this woman.
Are you fucking high? The dude was strapped in a chair while covered in pepper spray with the wife calling them begging them to take him to a hospital for his medication, and they ignored all of this and just let him die. That's picture perfect payday time.
 

Josh_R

Registered User
#25
I'm not saying the cops shouldn't face charges. Just that the wife shouldn't get a pay day. She failed to take care of what she claims was an ill husband too, and passed the problem onto the cops.

Had she hired a doctor who then proceeded to neglect his duties, she would be entitled to sue. Had the cops been called to do some Police work, and then proceeded to neglect their duties, once again she'd be entitled to sue. But if you call the cops to help you with a medical issue, you are not entitled to sue when they do a poor job.

The cops can still be punished for any criminal wrongdoing of course, but they are not liable to this woman.
You are 100% wrong on this one.


Mental Health Issues

Joyce Christie told IB News last June that her husband had started showing signs of mania. He had recently retired and thought he was going to go fishing, she said, but diverticulitis shut down his colon, then he went into a depression after being hospitalized for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Christie had quit smoking years ago, but the former boilermaker worked around asbestos and nuclear power plants, she says.

His doctors had prescribed Lexapro for his depression and Joyce blames the medication for his high and low mood swings. Patients on Lexapro report mood swings and paranoia among a host of side effects, so it is advised patients gradually withdraw from the drug.

His doctor had planned to take him off the drug, but she says her husband’s medical surveillance fell between the cracks when the doctor left to work somewhere else.

In the meantime, while in Ohio, Christie was planning to paint the garage floor and take apart, clean, and re-assemble lawn furniture. He had become more outgoing and talkative, she said. When he suddenly left to go to Fort Myers to visit his brother, he went to a mall and opened a department store account, things he hadn’t done before.

Joyce Christie was so concerned she says she contacted the Lee County Sheriff’s office and issue a welfare BOLO (Be On The Lookout). Ms. Christie even had the sheriff of her home town contact Lee County to stress the seriousness of her husband’s condition and the fact that he needed to take his medication.

He begged them to take Nick to the hospital. They said he’s having a good time, he needs a few days away. All they had to do was say ‘Let us talk to your doctor to confirm.' They didn’t do it. Captain Begowski told the officer, ‘If you don’t take him now, I’m going to tell you, you’re going to be dealing with him in a couple of hours.’”
The guy had gone to the doctor for depression etc. He just up and left for Florida, and his wife notified the authorities ahead of time that he had medical problems. The sheriff of her town contacted the authorities to warn them about his medical conditions, and still they did not bother to heed any warnings and did not give him his medication or allow a doctor to treat him.
 
Top