Girl Brain-Dead from Taser Incident
By Jerry A. Kane
In the :48 video below, 267-pound Trooper Daniel Cole tases a 100 pound, 20-year-old handcuffed girl in the back as she tries to flee. Danielle Maudsley suffered severe brain damage from the September 2011 taser incident and has been in a vegetative state ever since.
Cole arrested Maudsley for allegedly leaving the scene of two traffic accidents and driving with a suspended license. He took her to a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) substation and was completing paperwork before taking her to the Pinellas County Jail when she bolted out the door in handcuffs.
Cole chased her out into a parking lot and fired his taser into her back. Maudsley spun around and fell backwards, her head slamming down hard against the concrete pavement. Maudsley cried and tried to get up and about two minutes later lost consciousness. She has remained unconscious ever since.
“Tell me that’s not excessive force. … He couldn’t reach out and grab her? He was an arm’s length away.”—Cheryl Maudsley, girl’s mother
According to a report by the Office of Inspector General Investigation Unit, Maudsley was found to have cocaine and oxycodone in her system at the time.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted an independent review of the incident and determined Cole’s actions “were legal and within the scope of his duties” and cleared him of wrongdoing.
Maudsley’s defense attorney said that Cole’s use of the taser violated FHP policy.
“Fleeing cannot be the sole reason for the deployment. When you shoot someone in the back, and they’re running away, all that force — as you saw when Danielle’s head hit the concrete — that’s why they don’t allow you to do that, because you can have horrible tragedies like this.”—Kevin Haylsett
In the report Cole said that he used the taser because he “felt she was more susceptible to being injured if he attempted to tackle her.”
Doctors told Cheryl Maudsley that her daughter will likely remain in a vegetative state. Maudsley is currently at the Ft. Lauderdale rehab center.
For more on the story, see Pictured: The moment handcuffed woman, 20, was left brain dead after being Tasered for trying to escape police.