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Gay Porn Actor Dustin Michaels Dies After Police Taser Drug Arrest

Andrew Grande, a 23-year-old Panama City Beach, Florida man (known in gay adult film circles as Dustin Michaels) died after choking on bags of marijuana he had ingested during a police arrest in which he was tasered.

WJHG reports: Michaels "Just after 2AM Friday deputies responded to a disturbance call at the Executive Inn on front beach road. They say Grande pushed a female friend. A camera crew from Zoo Productions filmed what happened when deputies arrived. When one of the deputies tried to arrest him they say he resisted and stuffed something in his mouth. That's when at least one of the deputies shot him with a taser. They say he pulled the taser probes out of his body, that's when deputies noticed he was choking. Deputies performed the Hiemlich maneuver but could not dislodge the item. By the time EMS arrived, he was unconscious. One of the paramedics pulled a large bag of marijuana from his throat. He was pronounced dead at Bay Medical Center."

There's disturbing police video of the incident. Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

More on Michaels' work in the adult film business here - site NSFW.

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Comments

  1. @Tank: If he had swallowed the bag before the tasing, it wouldn't be stuck in his airway a minute later, would it?

    Regardless of what he put in his mouth, it can be argued that the loss of fine motor control associated with tasing resulted in the Mr. Grande unintentionally swallowing the bag and the loss of motor control may have resulted in the "swallow" not being completed.

    Either way, Mr. Grande was not assaulting an officer. At worst, he was trying to run away. The officer's safety was not in immediate danger. As a taser is supposed to be used in life-threatening situations (check any engagement manual you want), the taser SHOULD NOT have been used.

    And there's nothing you can say to argue otherwise.

    Posted by: TommyOC | Dec 14, 2009 3:52:08 PM


  2. Oh, and @Tank? I'd rather have a bruise the size of a policeman's baton than risk the stoppage of my heart. How about you?

    I can tell you one person who doesn't want you to be bruised, however... the cop. You can't accuse him of excessive force if all you have to show for it is a copy of pinpricks.

    Your heart stopping? Well, that's just a gamble he's willing to take to save his own ass - in more than one way.

    Posted by: TommyOC | Dec 14, 2009 3:55:31 PM


  3. "Either way, Mr. Grande was not assaulting an officer. At worst, he was trying to run away. The officer's safety was not in immediate danger."

    In the apprehension of a fleeing suspect, it can be.


    "As a taser is supposed to be used in life-threatening situations (check any engagement manual you want), the taser SHOULD NOT have been used."

    Life threatening on the scene is a lot different than in the antiseptic analysis of 20/20. Further, you can't know what isn't life threatening from what is when a suspect is resisting arrest. Are you a mind reader?

    "And there's nothing you can say to argue otherwise."

    Of course there is, and I just did.

    "Regardless of what he put in his mouth, it can be argued that the loss of fine motor control associated with tasing resulted in the Mr. Grande unintentionally swallowing the bag and the loss of motor control may have resulted in the "swallow" not being completed."

    And it can be argued just as compellingly that the bag was lodged firmly in his throat from him swallowing it, and would have resulted in the same consequence if tasers hadn't been used.


    Lastly, the most dangerous type of call a police officer will ever receive is for domestic violence (Which this may very well have been given the description). There is no way to predict how that will go down, so they are prepared for deadly force from the suspect.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 14, 2009 4:02:08 PM


  4. "Your heart stopping? Well, that's just a gamble he's willing to take to save his own ass - in more than one way."

    And people die from regularly non lethal blows from batons. People have died from exposure to pepper spray. Should those be dispensed with as well? How about guns? Why don't we disband the police altogether? Would that fit your anarchist/libertarian vision?

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 14, 2009 4:06:30 PM


  5. Tank, if cops would have shown the ability to use tasers appropriately, then you're But, unfortunately, the police force of this country as a whole has proven its wholly incapable of using tasers responsibly and appropriately. absolutely right -- they shouldn't be banned. And I've had said that months before this incident. Right now, I firmly believe tasers are getting more people killed than they are saving and way too many people are being zapped over and over again without the situation warranting it.

    Posted by: Ryan | Dec 14, 2009 4:07:05 PM


  6. Ryan, can't you see that your issue isn't just with the use of tasers by law enforcment, but with how tasers are being used? You should be calling for stricter regulations and guidelines for tasers than for their ban...any number of absurd counterexamples can be brought to the table...

    It's the same with the death penalty. The issue that many opponents of the death peantly bring up is that innocent people are sometimes wrongly convicted and sentenced...but that can be applied to prisons, too--so should we give up on incarceration?...anyway, the point is that they aren't addressing the death penalty, but errors in the system that enabled it to be incorrectly applied.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 14, 2009 4:13:48 PM


  7. For further perspective into the Taser issue, check out this exhaustive blog called "It All Goes Here" http://nateo.blogspot.com/

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Dec 14, 2009 5:03:38 PM


  8. @TANK
    "In the apprehension of a fleeing suspect, it can be."

    So any fleeing suspect should be tasered, so that the possibility of the pursuing officer getting hit by a car or hurting himself slipping on a puddle during the chase is averted.

    "Lastly, the most dangerous type of call a police officer will ever receive is for domestic violence (Which this may very well have been given the description). There is no way to predict how that will go down, so they are prepared for deadly force from the suspect."

    So all officers responding to domestic violence calls should immediately taser the involved parties - because there's no way to predict how things will go down.

    Um, what happened to that thing called a police officer's "judgment"?

    "It's the same with the death penalty. The issue that many opponents of the death peantly bring up is that innocent people are sometimes wrongly convicted and sentenced...but that can be applied to prisons, too--so should we give up on incarceration?"

    You can overturn the conviction and free someone who has merely been imprisoned. Good luck resurrecting the dead guy after you find out he was actually innocent.

    Posted by: RJ | Dec 14, 2009 5:24:54 PM


  9. "So any fleeing suspect should be tasered, so that the possibility of the pursuing officer getting hit by a car or hurting himself slipping on a puddle during the chase is averted."

    Sure, if he's evading capture. Why not? Better than getting shot, huh? And you don't know if he's going to pull a gun or has backup waiting while he's fleeing.

    "So all officers responding to domestic violence calls should immediately taser the involved parties - because there's no way to predict how things will go down."

    Not at all. but if they're resisting arrest, absolutely, given the heightened danger that the police are in.

    "You can overturn the conviction and free someone who has merely been imprisoned. Good luck resurrecting the dead guy after you find out he was actually innocent."

    Nonsquitur.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 14, 2009 5:31:58 PM


  10. Wow that was awful to see. I feel horrible for him and especially his family and loved ones to see that.

    I don't understand the taser arguments though. Clearly he was choking before the taser hit and why he was struggling with the officers. The bag must have gotten lodged when the officers wrestled him to the ground. Nobody was at fault for his death but himself. He made a rash and incredibly stupid decision in the heat of the moment (you learn as a kid not to swallow balloons...plastic bags are in the same choking category).

    Posted by: daws | Dec 14, 2009 5:52:23 PM


  11. Unless you've ever tried to force an actively resisting subject to follow your commands, you've no idea what you're talking about. I've seen situations where it took three grown male deputies to subdue and physically redirect a 100 pound teenage girl, so I know it's hard to get an actively resisting grown man to follow commands if he doesn't want to. Additionally, notice how he just yanked the taser plugs out of his chest. It's on the video, clear as day.

    We can dicker about appropriate force, but as several people have said, you're looking at it from the perspective of hindsight AND lack of law enforcement training. From what I see, they did everything right, including cessation of the arrest when the young man indicated he was choking and shifting to attempts to save his life.

    I don't want to be the officers who have to wake up every day wondering if they could have done more to help this guy, but in all fairness, he tried to swallow a bag and then actively resisted arrest. From what's shown in the video, he was his own worst enemy in this case.

    Posted by: DR | Dec 14, 2009 6:07:05 PM


  12. i'm crying... that was absolutely horrific. why did I click? I agree - thanks war on drugs!

    Posted by: David | Dec 14, 2009 6:16:34 PM


  13. Cops use tasers because the taser manufacturers swear they're safe. So cops whip out one the second they have a problem and use it against anyone and everyone they damned well feel like, from 10 year old children to 80 year old grandmothers, whether the person is a danger to them or not, sometimes even when the person has not committed an offense. For example -- there's an instance where six Missouri state cops tasered a white 16 year old boy 19 times because he was lying on the ground screaming and wouldn't get up to tell them why. Turned out the kid had a broken back and was screaming from pain. Thanks to the extreme tasering he got, doctors had to wait two weeks to begin repairing his spine so his body could heal itself from being shot so many times with 50K watts in electricity.

    The fact is, tasers kill and have killed hundreds of people in the last couple of years. When they haven't caused the death directly, they've exacerbated problems that brought about a person's death. They should be outlawed as devices of torture.

    But Americans won't like that. We love the idea of torturing people, especially if we can use some stupid excuse like the person tortured might have been committing a crime...or even might be thinking of one, just like we've done to people accused of being al Qaeda sympathizers, all without a shred of evidence that they ever were. It's fun when we're the do-ers and not the do-ees.

    You want more on the hell of tasers? Check out http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/ where Digby's been chronicling the disgraceful use of them as one part of a war against torture.

    Posted by: Kyle Sullivan | Dec 14, 2009 7:41:59 PM


  14. Big handshakes to the the police officers in this tragic situation, who did a 180 from trying to subdue a resistive suspect to rescue mode. People make stupid, tragic decisions and get themselves killed every single day. Thanks for offering to "educate" us all, TommyOC, but you're a Cindy Sheehan-level rube.

    Posted by: Randy Novak | Dec 14, 2009 9:44:25 PM


  15. I think the argument regarding the legality of marijuana is irrelevant here. This man chose to swallow the marijuana and he chose to resist arrest, both of which contributed to the officer's decision to use the taser which caused his death. It's a very unfortunate situation for sure. If you truly believe marijuana should be legal, than there are legal policy avenues which you can access to voice that opinion. Regardless, using marijuana in Florida is illegal and if you choose to break the law, then YOU are responsible for the outcome of your actions.

    Posted by: Dr. Christopher Blackwell | Dec 15, 2009 12:13:05 AM


  16. I saw on another page this unfortunate guy had a "twitter pic" he posted of a large amount of marijuana on his kitchen table he was packing in small plastic packets and he called the post "Oregano". Probably he was making a tidy profit. As was the escort "Scott Adler" who was caught crossing the Mexican border into California with drugs (he was on probation for drug possession). Now he sits in jail without bail and this guy is dead. Sad, I feel for their families. Them - not as much as their families.

    Posted by: Mark | Dec 15, 2009 12:58:51 AM


  17. they shouldnt have tased him. they could see that he's choking. he was motioning for help. TRUtv cameras were there and they wanted to look all cool for the camera. there were SEVERAL cops on one guy. did they really need a taser to overpower him? i dont think so.

    Posted by: Tyler | Dec 15, 2009 2:01:40 AM


  18. I'm glad they showed this idiot dying on primetime TV. It's this kind of thing that people need to see in order to snap out of the delusion that they can live a druggy lifestyle and not suffer the consequences.

    Incidentally, the headlines should be changed from "Gay Porn Actor Dustin Michaels Dies After Police Taser Drug Arrest" to "Man dies after ingesting drugs wrapped in plastic bag."

    Posted by: Rick | Dec 15, 2009 11:32:40 AM


  19. Use today's Taser!

    Get back to your doughnuts 3x faster!

    Posted by: none | Dec 15, 2009 12:38:55 PM


  20. I had to stop that when they showed a close-up shot of his face and he was clearly unable to breathe - I had tears in my eyes and I can't even imagine how bad it must have gotten after that. That video should not even exist, never mind be floating around the internet. Shame on that camera man...

    Posted by: John | Dec 15, 2009 1:31:37 PM


  21. [BLOCKUOTE]
    I had to stop that when they showed a close-up shot of his face and he was clearly unable to breathe - I had tears in my eyes and I can't even imagine how bad it must have gotten after that.
    [/BLOCKQUOTE]
    IMHO, it did get worse (and I say that as someone who can't get that image from that precise moment out of my head today). I think that stopping where you did was a good idea.

    But hey, he smoked weed and pushed a girl, so fuck 'im.

    Posted by: none | Dec 15, 2009 1:40:45 PM


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    Posted by: sexy ass | Jan 29, 2010 6:43:45 AM


  23. My only comment is that if the police seen it as the man trying to get his breath rather than risisting, they would have never used the taser, and he might still be alive today

    Posted by: Dennis | Mar 1, 2010 1:31:06 AM


  24. To me it looks like while they were on his back - all 3 of them - he was saying something. When he got up it looked like he got up to cough the bag up. I question the brutal force the officers use to subdue him on the ground then fire off the taser when he clearly is not so much resisting but freaking out at having the bag stuck in his throat. I'm sure the taser would have helped lodge it further which is why he immediately pulls it out and starts beating his chest. Sure, he's breaking the law but jeez, your US police really love jumping on people and pushing them into the ground.

    Posted by: nicholas | Mar 9, 2010 7:15:12 PM


  25. im just wondering why he would use a fake name in porn when his REAL name is andrew grande

    Posted by: harry | Mar 10, 2010 8:17:09 AM


  26. « | 1 2 3 »

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