A 40-year-old Burtonsville man died this week at a local hospital two days after being Tasered by a Montgomery County police officer.
The officer’s conduct appears to have followed police protocol, but the department will continue its investigation into the death, said Capt. Paul Starks, a police spokesman. Autopsy results are pending.
The man, Dajuan Graham, had been acting erratically before the altercation with police officers, Starks said. At various points that night, he assaulted a bystander, a police officer and a hospital security guard, according to police.
The encounter began just after 10:30 p.m. Sunday, when an officer conducting a traffic stop in the Briggs Chaney Shopping Center was approached by four people who said there was a man at least partially unclothed walking on Castle Boulevard and acting erratically, according to police. A second officer was summoned, they drove toward the man, and they saw a woman waving her arms. She told the officers the man had just punched her, cutting her lip.
“The woman also advised the officers that she believed that Graham was under the influence of PCP,” police said in a statement.
The two officers approached Graham, who was standing in the southbound lanes of Castle Boulevard with his hands inside his shorts pockets. They asked him four times to remove his hands, officials said.
“He refused to comply and continued to grunt, raise and lower his shoulders, and assumed a threatening stance,” police said in a statement.
They warned him they would use their Taser, and one of them eventually did — deploying the device one time, and striking Graham with probes in the abdomen and the right upper thigh. “Graham went to the ground, and the officers placed him in custody. They immediately placed him in the recovery position on his side,” officials said.
An ambulance took Graham to Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring at 11:16 p.m. During the time officers interacted with him, he remained conscious, police said. “At the hospital, Graham was making statements and utterances,” police said.
The next afternoon, he was transferred to the hospital’s cardiac care unit with an elevated heart rate. The next night, “he suffered a medical event and was pronounced deceased,” police said.
The two officers remain on full duty status.