Man dies in police custody in Columbia County

by: Russell Colburn Updated:

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LAKE CITY, Fla. —

An internal investigation is underway at the Columbia County Sheriff's Office after deputies say one of their own used a Taser on a suspect, killing him.

The Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs Unit and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are looking into the incident.

Lake City's Jamie Glen is a quiet, rural area.  But Sunday evening, deputies say Timothy Griffis, 35, made sure it was anything but quiet.

The police report said Griffis was acting strange in a 91-year-old's yard before throwing a metal pipe at her. When Deputy Bradley Carpenter responded before 6:30 p.m. Griffis wouldn't come out of a shed on the property and said he would kill the deputy.

"After he failed to comply with the requests to come out he was eventually tased and taken into custody," said Lt. Katina Dicks.

Handcuffed, Griffis began having trouble breathing and then stopped altogether. Carpenter took the cuffs off and administered CPR, but Griffis died later at a hospital.

Action News asked Dicks if using the Taser was the proper protocol in that moment.

"In a situation like that it is appropriate to use a Taser," Dicks said.

Griffis had been arrested eight times since 2007 in Columbia County. According to the CCSO, Carpenter has only been on the force for eight months and has no previous incidents or complaints.

Carpener is currently on paid administrative leave. 


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