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Sheriff's Office: Drugs, not Taser, caused Port Salerno man's death
By Gabriel Margasak staff writer Posted at 4:40 p.m. August 29, 2005
STUART ? Cocaine toxicity and not a Taser caused the death of man who fled sheriff's deputies, a sheriff's spokeswoman reported Monday.
Port Salerno resident Brian Lichtenstein, 31, was admitted to the hospital after an about 11 p.m. foot chase late Friday in which a Martin County Sheriff's Office sergeant fired his Taser. Lichtenstein, who was caught near the Riverland Mobile Home Park on State Road 76 after he was seen rolling around on the ground, died at 5:46 a.m. at the hospital.
Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sgt. Jenell Atlas said the Medical Examiner of the Treasure Coast had found Lichtenstein died from drugs.
The man's wife said she and her husband had been smoking crack cocaine for the previous three days, deputies reported.
The sheriff's office will continue to use the guns that administer what is supposed to be a body-stopping shock.
"No one has proven the link between Tasers and death," Atlas said. "Yes we believe Tasers are useful tools."