The key question is whether the stun gun shot led to Lassegue's death. "At this time the case is still pending," said Diane Markunas, a spokeswoman for the Nassau County medical examiner's office. "We're still waiting on the toxicology reports."Tasers are billed as a nonlethal means of subduing a suspect, but their use is somewhat controversial. Published reports quoting anonymous police sources have said Lassegue had an enlarged heart and died of a heart attack after the scuffle."I have no idea about that," Markunas said.Around 4:52 p.m. on Sunday, police responded to the home of Claude Lassegue, Blondel's uncle, at 240-12 141st Ave. in Rosedale after a family member called 911 and said Blondel had stopped taking his medication and was acting irrationally. Published reports said Lassegue had a history of mental illness and was bipolar. The reports also quoted family members who described Blondel as a gentle man who had recently been ordained as a minister. No one answered the door at Claude's home Tuesday, but according to police, the 911 caller said Lassegue had grabbed a young child and was refusing to go home to Brooklyn. Assistant Chief Michael Collins, an NYPD spokesman, said police from the 105th Precinct responded and tried to speak with Lassegue, urging him to leave Rosedale in an ambulance."He then eventually decided to allow the police to handcuff him and to be transported to the hospital by EMS," Collins said.The incident, however, then spiraled out of control. Police said that after Lassegue's left wrist was cuffed, he became violent, striking a sergeant "numerous" times."The officers struggled with the male, ordered him numerous times to stop resisting and warned him that they would Taser him if he did not," Collins said. "A second sergeant on the scene then utilized his Taser device and the officers were able to cuff the male."Collins said that after the sergeant shot Lassegue with the stun gun, EMS checked him and found him to be "conscious and responsive.""EMS then stepped out of the room so that the officers could take the male out of the apartment to the ambulance for the trip to the hospital," Collins said. However, officers then noticed that Lassegue had become "unresponsive." EMS was then summoned back into the room, Collins said and began administering first aid to Lassegue."He was uncuffed and removed by ambulance to Franklin General Hospital," Collins said.Lassegue was pronounced dead at 6:39 p.m., according to police. The Nassau County medical examiner's office was investigating the case because Franklin General Hospital, where Lassegue died, is in Valley Stream.
©2007 Community News Group
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