Family sues Hamilton Co., deputies in man's 2013 Taser death

Provided photo.
Provided photo.

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The family of a mentally ill man who died after officers used a Taser on him nearly a year ago is suing Hamilton County, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil and three deputies involved in the incident.

Sheriff's deputies were dispatched Aug. 13, 2013 to the 10000 block of Barrington Court in Sycamore Township following reports of a neighborhood disturbance.

Three deputies arrived and found 59-year-old Gary Roell behind a neighbor's townhouse, authorities said. Roell was naked from the waist down and had broken a back window.

Roell was unarmed, holding a flower pot in one hand and a hose in the other, according to the report.

Deputies said Roell was ordered to the ground, which is when he charged the officers and soon became a scuffle. The deputies attempted to restrain Roell prior to using the stun gun on him. One deputy was punched in the face, the sheriff's office said.

Authorities said Roell was shot in the lower back with the Taser. The lawsuit claims Roell was shot six times, including a shot to the chest, which is outside the preferred target zone established by the Taser manufacturer.

Roell's wife, Nancy, filed the suit Monday.

The three deputies in the lawsuit were identified as Joseph Huddleston, Matthew Alexander and Willy Dalid. The lawsuit claims while the deputies held him down, one read Roell his rights to which he responded, "I don't understand. I just want some water from my neighbors." Those were his last words, according to the lawsuit.

Moments after the use of the stun gun, deputies noticed he was having difficulty breathing. Roell stopped breathing while EMS responded and a deputy performed CPR at the scene.

Roell was transported to Bethesda North Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The lawsuit further alleges the deputies were not properly trained and supervised on handling situations with those who suffer from mental illness.

A spokesperson for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said they could not comment on the lawsuit.

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