GALLUP, N.M. (KRQE) – The family of a Missouri man who died after being tased almost twenty times while on a road trip through New Mexico is now suing. The lawsuit claims McKinley County deputies had no right to go after the unarmed man in the first place and highlights that one of the deputies had been drinking that day.
On May 18th, McKinley County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to a rest stop near Gallup after 39-year-old Robert Carroll was seen walking around disoriented. Carroll was on a road trip from Kansas City to Phoenix to visit friends.
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The lapel video shows Carroll going onto I-40 and the deputy ordering him to get down on the ground. When Carroll doesn’t comply, things escalate.
The entire video shows the deputy tasing and stunning Carroll 18 times, as Carroll keeps walking away over the course of a few minutes. At the end of the video, officers begin conducting CPR after Carroll stops breathing. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
The autopsy report found Carroll had heart disease. His family is now filing a lawsuit seeking justice. “Well, the main issue is that Mr. Carroll wasn’t committing any crime, wasn’t accused of any crime, was unarmed,” says Carroll Family attorney, Eric Dixon.
According to the police report, the main deputy in question, Deputy Dwayne Holder, admitted he had consumed one and a half shots of bourbon less than eight hours before his shift began, which goes against his department’s policy.
In a statement, the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office says Carroll was tased to keep him from going into oncoming traffic on I-40. They also say an outside party is conducting an internal investigation on the incident, including the deputy’s admission that he drank alcohol that day.