Mentally-Challenged Teen Dies After Cops Taser Him | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Mentally-Challenged Teen Dies After Cops Taser Him

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    The family of 18-year-old Patrick Johnson couldn't believe he was gone. And they were questioning why police used a Taser on the mentally handicapped man. (Published Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010)

    An 18-year-old Northeast Philadelphia man died Thursday after police Tasered him twice, authorities said.

    Family members identified the dead man as Patrick Johnson. He had the mental capacity of a child, family members said.

    No cause of death was immediately released but police confirmed Johnson was Tasered by police before he died.

    Police specially trained to work with mentally handicapped people arrived at a home on the 6900 block of Souder Street after being called about a man who was trying to light sticks on fire in the kitchen, police said.

    "The cops told him four times to drop the sticks, he lunged at the cops and they tased him," said step-father Steve Zielinski.

    Johnson continued to come after the cops after the first stun so police Tasered him again, they said.

    He was taken unresponsive to Nazareth Hospital where he died.

    Police had previously been called to the residence 14 times, Lt. Frank Vanore told the Inquirer.


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