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November 2nd, 2011
Taser Report du Jour

Witnesses told police that Chad Brothers, 32, of Troy, was acting strange when he arrived at the gym around 5:45 a.m., using exaggerated sounds as he worked out. Around 6:18 a.m., havoc broke out when Brothers fell or jumped off an elliptical machine.

Brothers went over to a treadmill where another man was working out, increased the speed of the machine and punched the man in the face, said Colonie Police Chief Steven H. Heider.

Meanwhile, Brothers, who police described as 6 feet 1, about 230 pounds and very muscular, pushed over several universal weight machines, each weighing about 700 pounds. Brothers destroyed a display case and threw 45-pound dumbbells. He left the building twice and returned, police said. Brothers then went into an office, where he ripped computers from the wall and toppled file cabinets, Heider said.

A female police officer arrived and ordered Brothers to stand down, but Brothers threw boxes at her. She discharged a Taser at him, which latched to his chest and upper leg, Heider said. The Taser brought Brothers to the ground ,and as the officer was putting him in handcuffs, Heider said, Brothers stood up with the officer on his back.

At one point, Brothers grabbed the Taser from the officer and appeared to shock himself, Heider said.

Two other officers arrived and both used Tasers against Brothers.

Heider estimated that Brothers was shocked four to five times at three to five seconds each time.

One officer also struck him on the shoulder with a collapsible baton.

Other gym patrons helped police get Brothers into custody. Police needed two sets of handcuffs to restrain Brothers because of his size. One minute after being placed into custody, Brothers apparently went into cardiac arrest, police said.

"This was a whirlwind of a battle in a confined space," Heider said. He estimated it lasted less than two minutes.

The officers and a gym patron -- an off-duty firefighter -- began CPR and attached a defibrillator before the arrival of emergency medical personnel, Heider said. Brothers was still breathing and alive, so the defibrillator did not administer a shock, he said. Brothers was pronounced dead when he arrived at 7:14 a.m. at Albany Medical Center Hospital.

The town police chief said his officers were justified to use three Tasers against an out-of-control weight lifter at Gold's Gym in Latham on Monday morning.




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