Pictured: The moment handcuffed woman, 20, was left brain dead after being Tasered for trying to escape police
Danielle Maudsley tried to flee from Florida Highway Patrol Station
Remains in vegetative state and ‘unlikely’ to ever wake up
Trooper Daniel Cole cleared by two investigations of any wrongdoing
Danielle’s mother Cheryl now suing FHP
By Lee Moran
Last updated at 12:20 PM on 21st February 2012
A 20-year-old woman has been left brain dead – after she was Tasered by police and smacked her head on the ground.
Danielle Maudsley had been taken to a Florida Highway Patrol Station after being arrested for a suspected hit-and-run in September. Handcuffed, she ran out of the door.
But as footage from a police cruiser dashboard camera reveals, Trooper Daniel Cole, who this week was cleared of any wrongdoing, fired a Taser’s electric probes into her back.
Impact: The moment Danielle Maudsley, 20, was Tasered by Trooper Daniel Cole after she tried to escape the police station
Then and now: Danielle Maudsley before the Tasering (left) and unconscious in her hospital room (right)
She spun, fell backwards and hit her head on the ground. Bleeding and crying she tried to get up. She then blacked out and has remained unconscious ever since.
Doctors say Danielle, who was found to have cocaine and oxycodone in her system at the time, is unlikely to ever wake up.
Her mother Cheryl has slammed the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and Florida Department of Law Enforcement for its reports that both cleared Cole.
She told the Tampa Bay Times she was suing FHP, and added: ‘Tell me that’s not excessive force. I’m not saying she was an angel, but she didn’t deserve that.
‘He couldn’t reach out and grab her? He was an arm’s length away. My daughter is dead because of this. She won’t come back.’
Danielle, who had a suspended driving licence, was arrested earlier that day for allegedly leaving the scene of two traffic accidents.
Brutal: Danielle Maudsley pictured after hitting the ground (left), and trying to sit up (right)
Cuffed: Danielle Maudsley pictured in the patrol car shortly after her arrest
At the station, she tried to escape. Cole, worried she would be hit by a car as she ran towards the direction of U.S. 19, gave chase.
He said that because of the immediacy of the situation, and the fact he feared one or both of them would be injured if he tackled her, he went for his Taser.
When asked if he would have done anything differently, he said: ‘No, I would not have.’ Experts have now questioned the use of the Taser.
Greg Connor, professor at the University of Illinois Police Training Institute who specialises in use of force, said: ‘It just doesn’t make any sense. I don’t see where it’s going to be that hard to apprehend her.’
And nationally known use-of-force expert Dave Klinger, a retired Los Angeles police officer and professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said it was an an ‘inappropriate’ police tactic.
But Sgt Steve Gaskins said: ‘The Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted an independent review. FDLE’s investigation found the trooper’s actions were legal and within the scope of his duties.’