Family members of a 32-year-old man who died in November after Coweta County deputies allegedly handcuffed and tased him said Thursday they want the deputies held accountable.
The mother of Chase Alan Sherman called 911 shortly after 9 p.m. Nov. 20 and begged for help for her son, who she said was hallucinating and biting his girlfriend.
But at Thursday morning news conference in Atlanta, Mary Ann Sherman said, “We’re scared to death of law enforcement now.”
Atlanta attorney L. Chris Stewart, who is representing the family, said even though Sherman was handcuffed during the incident, deputies applied so much pressure to his torso with their knees, that the force, along with repeated use of a Taser led to his death.
Coweta County coroner Richard Hawk said Sherman’s death was ruled a homicide.
He said the victim’s sudden death was caused when an altercation with law enforcement resulted in “several trigger pulls of an electronic control device, prone positioning on the floor of a motor vehicle and compression of the torso by the body weight of another individual.”
Sherman, his girlfriend and parents were driving home to Destin, Fla. when he began having a mental breakdown after allegedly using a form of synthetic marijuana dubbed spice, Mary Ann Sherman said.
“He’s hallucinating; we need help,” she pleaded with the operator. “He’s going to kill us all if we don’t get help.”
When Coweta sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene several minutes later, a struggle began and deputies deployed the Taser.
He allegedly continued to resist the deputies and medical personnel until at some point, he stopped fighting and went into medical distress, according to the GBI. Deputies and EMS performed CPR, and Chase Sherman was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
It’s not clear how many times deputies used their Tasers during the incident. His parents said they counted three times between the two of them. His girlfriend put the number closer to six.
They said they remember deputies high-fiving each other after their son was removed from the scene.
Kevin Sherman said his life has been a nightmare since his son’s death.
He worked with him everyday in Destin. Chase Sherman was a boat captain for the family’s “Just Chute Me Parasailing” business.
“All we think about is Chase every minute of the day,” he said. “We see him coming around the corner.”