The death of a buglary suspect tasered by a Springfield police officer has been ruled accidental.
Autopsy and toxicology results say that Michael D. Hawkins died from cardiac arrhythmia and a lethal amount of methamphetamine in his system.
Hawkins was tasered inside the Eagles Lodge Motel in December when he was discovered hiding inside the crawl space of a storage room.
His death has been ruled an accident.
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The Greene County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that Michael D. Hawkins died as a result of cardiac arrhythmia, with significant old infarcts of the heart muscle, and toxic levels of methamphetamine. The manner of the death has been ruled an accident.
Hawkins was arrested by Springfield Police on December 20, 2009, at the Eagles Lodge Motel, 2611 N. Glenstone, for burglary and resisting arrest.
Police had received a call from motel management that someone was hiding in a storage room and refusing to come out. When officers arrived they found Hawkins hiding in a crawl space. He was given several verbal commands to come out of the crawl space and he refused. Police entered the crawl space and during their attempts to arrest Hawkins he was bitten on the upper right leg by a police service dog. As the dog engaged the suspect in the crawl space, the dog broke through the ceiling and fell onto the balcony. The suspect was able to hold onto a rafter and climb back into the crawl space.
As Hawkins continued to resist arrest by refusing to obey commands from officers, a Taser was deployed. The autopsy revealed that only one probe of the Taser entered the body.
After Hawkins was taken into custody by police he was transported to a local hospital for the bite wound. After arriving at the hospital he died.
For further information regarding the autopsy contact the Greene County Medical Examiner’s Office.