Maryland Man Dies After Being Tasered


A hearing-impaired man died Sunday after a sheriff's deputy zapped him with a Taser gun. Police say the deputy was breaking up a fight. The young man's mother says it was a case of excessive force.

"I want my baby back and no one can bring my baby back," said Tanya Thomas.

Her son, 20-year-old Jarrel Gray, died after being shocked in the parking lot of a townhouse complex about 5 a.m. Sunday.

Police said Gray was one of four people fighting on Gresham Court East in Frederick when the deputy showed up.

The deputy pulled out a Taser, which fires electric darts to temporarily incapacitate a person.

"The first responding officer struck a 20-year-old man, he fell to the ground, medical aid was administered immediately," Frederick sheriff's Cpl. Jennifer Bailey said.

Gray was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Even though sheriff's officials won't give many details about what led up to the incident, they said department policy allows a deputy to use a Taser if someone resists them or to break up a fight.

"Right now deputies are trained to utilize the taser when an officer's safety or a citizen's safety is at issue," Bailey said.

Officials said it is too early to say why Gray died, or if the Taser is to blame.

Family members said the Frederick High School graduate had a great personality. They said he wanted to go to college and play sports.

Gray was deaf in one ear and his mother suspects that may have played some kind of role in all this.

She wonders if he was able to hear what the officers were saying.

Gray's family said they were not aware of him having any heart problems and say he was not a drug user.

The deputy who shocked Gray is on routine leave while the death is investigated.