Nova Scotia

Struggles in jail followed Taser hit, review finds

The Nova Scotia man who was shocked with a Taser struggled with jail staff twice before he died Thursday morning, corrections officials said Monday.

Corrections officials say staff acted properly while Howard Hyde was in their custody

The Nova Scotia man who wasshocked with a Taser struggled with jail staff twice before he died Thursday morning, corrections officials said Monday.

Hyde, 45, a paranoid schizophrenic, died Thursday morning at theNova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth, 30 hours after policejolted him with a stun gun to try to subdue him.

After reviewing the videotapes from the jail, Fred Honsberger, executive director of Correctional Services with the Department of Justice, said Hyde's death remains a mystery.

No method of restraint was used that should have caused injury, he said.

"We don't strike offenders. We don't use choke holds. We don't use batons.… What we do is we restrict the arm movements and the leg movements and try as much as possible to place them in restraints."

Honsberger said he's left with one question:"Whatwas it about this person's health that caused his death?"

A number of investigations are underway to determine the cause of death.

The Taser was used on Hyde at the police station early Wednesday while he was being booked on an assault charge. Police said he tried twice to get away.

Hyde was moved to the jail that evening, examined by health-care staff and placed in a special cell for observation,according totheinternal Corrections review.

The next morning, Hyde was in two separate struggleswith staff that required him to be physically restrained.

Thefirst incident happened while he was being escorted to the admissions area. Staff placed him in handcuffs.

Hyde struggled again as he was being placed in a holding cell. It was soon after thatthat he stopped resistingandofficers became alarmed, worried something was wrong.

Health-care staff performed CPR on Hyde until paramedics arrived. He was thentaken to Dartmouth General Hospital, where he waspronounced dead.

Honsberger said jail stafffollowed proper procedures while Hyde was in their custody.

Because30 hours passed between the time Hyde was hit with the Taser and his death at the jail, Honsberger suspects there is no directconnectionbetween the two.

But he's waiting for the experts to say that, he said.

"I'll be very interested in seeing the coroner's report."