Ramsey says use of Tasers was
justified; Magalia man had a heart condition, meth in
Deputies involved in an incident with a Magalia man who died
after being hit with Tasers were cleared of any criminal
liability, District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced Wednesday
during a press conference.
Daniel Walter Quick, 43,
died Dec. 30 after a confrontation with law enforcement in his
parent's Magalia home where he was hit with two Tasers. An
autopsy and toxicology report revealed Quick had a high level
of methamphetamine in his system when he died and had prior
heart and lung conditions, Ramsey said.
this, the shock from the Tasers and the erratic actions by
Quick, a pathologist's report stated Quick "was exquisitely
sensitive to the induction of cardiac dysrhythmia," Ramsey
said. The reaction was the official cause of death. According
to the investigation by the Butte County Officer Involved
Shooting/Critical Incident Protocol Team, which is made up of
local law enforcement agencies, the deputies were justified in
using the Tasers to attempt to subdue Quick.
was a conscious effort to use Tasers as a less than lethal
effort to take Mr. Quick into custody alive," Ramsey said.
Deputies had responded to the home of Quick's parents,
where Quick lived, after the parents
called the Butte County Sheriff's Office and said their
son had made threats against them and himself. Quick had lived
with his parents on and off for the past five years. During
that time deputies had multiple contacts with Quick for
incidents of "bizarre and suicidal behavior," Ramsey said. On
Dec. 30, Quick's parents told authorities he was acting more
erratic than usual and threatened to kill them and himself and
burn down the house. Quick also spoke of communications with
an alien race called "Neflens," which he said had already
taken over the Paradise Police Department and the White House
and were coming to burn down the home, Ramsey said.
The parents left the house and called the Butte County
Sheriffs Office. Reserve Sgt. Tom Coleman responded to the
home on Drexel Drive at about 4:17 p.m., where he saw Quick
standing on the front porch and attempted to talk to him.
Coleman recognized Quick as someone deputies had en-counters
with before, Ramsey said.
According to Coleman, Quick
then shouted obscenities at Coleman and ran into the home,
refusing to come out. Quick yelled that the sergeant would
"have to kill him" and that he wasnt leaving the house. While
Coleman waited outside for backup, he heard the back door of
the home close. He walked to a side gate and saw Quick running
at him. Coleman drew his Taser and ordered him to stop. Quick
replied with an obscenity and said, "I'll kill you first."
Quick then ran back onto the porch and Coleman attempted to
fire his Taser at him but it failed to deploy, Ramsey said.
Quick continued to yell threats and refused to leave
Coleman was then joined by Sgt. Jason Hail,
Deputy Tracy Panuke and Paradise Police Sgt. Jason Imboden.
They attempted to convince Quick to come out of the house,
which he refused. During the conversation Quick's mood seemed
to change from angry to calm several times. He denied making
threats against his parents or himself and said he had no
intent to harm anyone unless they came in after him, Ramsey
said. The officers had also learned Quick had a gun registered
to him, although one had not yet been seen. In an attempt to
defuse the situation, Hail decided officers should leave the
"He felt if officers were to rush the residence
it could be a very dangerous situation," Ramsey said.
After the officers left the area Coleman attempted to
find Quick's parents, whom he eventually found and brought to
the Magalia sheriff's substation. At the station the parents
expressed fear and frustration with their son and said they
wanted him removed from the house. The couple detailed what
they said was years of abuse from Quick and said he was
heavily under the influence of methamphetamine. They requested
charges of threats and elder abuse be filed against Quick and
gave Coleman permission to enter their home. They then
provided Coleman with a key to the residence and a diagram of
the interior of the house.
The parents were warned
that the situation "could turn deadly," Ramsey said, and they
said they were aware of the potential consequences. Coleman,
Panuke, Sgt. Anthony Borgman and Deputy Dick Dobkowitz went to
the residence at about 7:15 p.m. Coleman and Panuke entered
through the unlocked front door and Borgman and Dobkowitz went
to the back door. The officers announced their presence and
asked Quick to come out, to which Quick responded by yelling
from his bedroom, "Youre going to have to kill me," Ramsey
The officers assembled outside the bedroom,
which had no door, and told Quick to come out. Quick again
yelled profanities and told officers, "You're going to have to
kill me or I'll kill you. Coleman then stood in front of the
bedroom entry and Quick began throwing items at him, including
shelves, a beer bottle, lamp and mirror, which shattered
around Coleman. Quick then picked up a heavy three-legged
table and, with the table legs sticking out, charged at
Coleman, who had his firearm drawn and pointed at Quick.
Borgman and Dobkowitz were left of the bedroom entry
and both fired their Tasers "nearly simultaneously," Ramsey
said. Quick immediately stopped and fell to the floor with the
table still clutched in his hands. The officers handcuffed
Quick, and when they realized he had a weak pulse and was
non-responsive he was taken to Feather River Hospital where he
was pronounced dead at 8:21 p.m.
Ramsey said based on
Quick's statement and actions it seemed he may have been
trying to commit "suicide by cop." There had been questions
raised as to whether the use of two Tasers rather than one
contributed to the death, Ramsey said, which he said was
"There is no doubling of voltage," Ramsey
said. "When you have two cups of coffee at 110 degrees and you
pour the two of them together they do not begin to boil at 220
Deputies are trained to try to only deploy
one Taser for tactical purposes to keep one in reserve, he
said, not because it could be deadly. Tasers are considered a
less than lethal option to defuse a situation and this is the
first time in Butte County a death has occurred following
Taser-use since they were introduced to the department in
2002, Ramsey said. Coleman was fully prepared to use deadly
force against Quick if necessary, he said.
only the intervention of the Taser that ended the incident."
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