Excessive force: Family members claim Mr Anthony had hearing problems and suffered from seizures
Scotland Neck, N.C. — A 61-year-old Halifax County man died Tuesday, a day after police shocked him with a stun gun while he was riding his bike, family members said.
Scotland Neck Police Chief Joe Williams said they received a call Monday night about a man who fell off of his bicycle and injured himself in the parking lot of the BB&T bank, 1001 Main St. The caller was concerned that the man was drunk.
When Officer John Turner arrived, he saw Roger Anthony pedaling away along 10th Street. He followed Anthony in his patrol car, briefly put on his sirens and lights and yelled out of the window for him to stop, but Anthony continued to ride away, police said.
Williams said Turner then saw Anthony take something out his pocket and put it into his mouth. At that time, Turner got out of the car and yelled for Anthony to stop. When Anthony didn't stop, the officer used a stun gun on him, causing him to fall off of his bike.
Anthony was transported to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where he was declared brain dead, his sister Gladys Freeman said. He was taken off of life support on Tuesday.
Freeman said her brother was disabled, suffered from seizures and had trouble hearing. She said he was riding his bike home from her house on Sunday night. Anthony lived alone in an independent living community.
Williams would not comment further on the incident, citing an ongoing investigation. Turner, who has been on the force for just over a month, has been placed on administrative leave.
Scotland Neck Mayor James Mills is calling for the State Bureau of Investigation to look into what happened.
"The best we've been able to determine is that he offered no threat," Mills said.
Milton Freeman said Anthony, his brother-in-law, used to smoke cigarettes, drink coffee and ride his bicycle around town. Anthony was nicknamed "Rabbit" because of his big ears.
"Why would you (use a stun gun on) a man on a bike? He didn’t do any crime. He wasn’t trying to escape. How (was) he going to escape on his bicycle?" Milton Freeman said.