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Tasered Man On Life Support After Heart Attack In Jail
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 1, 2006

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA--A Florida man that sheriff's deputies shot with taser stun guns on an airport tarmac ten days ago was in a hospital on life support Wednesday after suffering a heart attack in his jail cell.

Last Friday, deputies found Troy Anthony Rigby, who has schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, on the floor of his cell in an intensive psychiatric unit of a Broward County jail. He was not breathing.

Doctors telephoned Rigby's sister, Marlene, and told her that he had experienced a massive heart attack and was in a coma at North Broward Medical Center.

"At this point there are still more questions than answers," Marlene Rigby told the Florida Sun-Sentinel.

"We don't understand how a young man who was in good health, other than his mental problems, could have a massive coronary."

Rigby, who turned 39 on Wednesday, was being held on charges of battery, aggravated battery, trespassing, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and criminal mischief.

He was stunned with tasers multiple times on January 23 after bursting through an exit door of a Continental Airlines jetliner at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, then dropping to the ground near a runway. Family members said he had stopped taking his medication, but was planning to fly to Newark, New Jersey for treatment for his mental illnesses.

Doctors have given Rigby little chance of recovering. Family members have been arriving to visit him for what they believe will be the last time.

The Sheriff's department released Rigby on his own recognizance Tuesday, removed the shackles that had been placed on his legs, and dismissed the officers that were guarding him.

Sheriff's spokesperson Elliot Cohen said the Sheriff's Office's internal affairs unit would not be investigating Rigby's collapse or the circumstances leading up to it because he is no longer in custody.

Six weeks before Rigby was stunned by Sheriff's tasers, federal air marshals shot and killed Rigoberto Alpizar, another Florida man who had not taken medication for his bipolar disorder, as he ran out of an American Airlines flight sitting at a terminal at Miami International Airport. Alpizar had run off the plane and into the jetway on December 7, but failed to follow the officers' instructions to get down on the floor.

Air marshals later said they suspected Alpizar had explosives in his backpack, which they believed he was reaching for when they shot him.

"From plane to life support in three mysterious days" (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

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