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Roger Anthony, Mentally Disabled, Elderly & Hearing Impaired Man on Bicycle, Killed by Police Taser for Not Stopping

An mentally disabled man with impaired hearing has died after being shot with a police stun gun while riding his bicycle in rural North Carolina.

According to WRAL, police in Scotland Neck received a call Monday night about a man who’d fallen off his bike and injured himself in a bank parking lot. The caller said he appeared to be drunk.

Officer John Turner arrived on the scene and saw 61-year-old Roger Anthony riding away. He followed the bicycle, switched on his cruiser’s lights and sounded the sirens. He then yelled for Anthony to stop.

But the hearing-impaired  man kept pedaling away.

Officer Turner says he saw Anthony take something out of his pocket and put it in his mouth. Turner got out of his cruiser and repeated the order for Anthony to stop. He didn’t; Turner shot him with his Taser stun gun, knocking him from his bike.

Anthony was rushed to Pitt County Memorial Hospital and pronounced brain dead. He was removed from life support the following day.

WRAL reports that Gladys Freeman, Anthony’s sister, said he suffered from seizures as well as hearing impairment and mental disability. She said he was just riding his bike home to an independent living community when his life abruptly came to an end at the hands of Officer Turner. Turner, a rookie cop, has been placed on administrative leave.

The State Bureau of Investigation is probing the incident.

“There has been no information that this man was a threat to anybody,” Scotland Neck Mayor James Mills told The Daily Mail. The mayor has tried to get information from the police department, but without success.

Anthony’s relatives are naturally distraught. “What did they Tase him for?” asked brother Michael. “It’s hurting me. It’s really hurting me.”

“Why would you [Tase] a man on a bicycle?” Milton Freeman, Anthony’s brother-in-law, asked WRAL. “He wasn’t trying to escape. How (was) he going to escape on his bicycle?”

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One Comment

  1. KimMarch 14, 2013 at 7:37 amReply

    The person who called in the report which lead to Mr. Turner going to find Mr. Anthony said that a person (Anthony) appeared drunk and had fallen off his bicycle. Has anyone given a thought to perhaps when he fell off bicycle the first time that the injury occured and that lead to his death. I sincerely hope that this is brought up to the jury when Mr. Turner goes to trial, because this to me, is reasonable doubt. The fatal injury could have occured either when he first fell off his bike and a report was called in or when he fell of after being tased. Another thought is that Turner obviously thought the man was ignoring him (he didn’t know Anthony was deaf), when he saw him pull something out of his pocket and put it in his mouth, he could have easily assumed that the man was trying to get rid of some sort of illegal drug, especially since the called in report said that Anthony appeared to be drunk. (The appearance of being drunk could certainly be mistaken for someone who is under the influence of drugs.) I feel sympathy for the family of Mr. Anthony, but if he was deaf and suffered from seizures, he really shouldn’t have been riding a bicycle in the first place.

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