Stranded driver dies after police fire Taser during fight inside car, Oregon cops say

As Oregon police struggling to pull a 45-year-old stranded motorist from his vehicle Wednesday fired a Taser at him, a witness says the man yelled, “you’re killing me,” KATU reported.

Then James F. Plymell III of Albany went limp, an Oregon State Police release says. Officers pulled him from the vehicle but could not revive him with CPR and a defibrillator.

The police “used more force than what you imagine what most people would use,” said Devin Russell, an employee at a nearby battery store, The Associated Press reported.

Oregon State Police and Linn County Sheriff’s Department investigators are looking into Plymell’s death, according to the release.

Steve Yeager says he helped Plymell push his broken-down vehicle to the side of the road before the 8:20 a.m. incident began, KATU reported.

A community services officer arrived to assist Plymell, then called for non-emergency backup, state police say.

A fight broke out and Plymell assaulted the community services officer, according to the release. Police do not say how the altercation began.

“Two officers are struggling with him inside the car. And then a female officer comes ... over the door, the door was open, and says ‘quit resisting, I’m gonna Tase you,’ ” Yeager said, KATU reported. “When they were Tasing him he was yelling, ‘You’re killing me. You’re killing me.’ ”

Albany is about 25 miles south of Salem, the capital of Oregon.

Police asked that anyone with information contact Oregon State Police Major Crimes detective Cassi Hegney at 503-375-3555.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.