Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Former Police Chief Dies After Being Tased

Darryl Briston. (Source:

Former police chief of Rankin, Pa., Darryl Briston, 49, was at the Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington County around 11:30 p.m., on December 14, 2012, when he happened to see his estranged wife with a male companion. According to the police report, Briston approached the couple, punched the man in the face and ran away. Briston reportedly had a history of domestic violence, and was fired from his job as police chief for stealing.

Police caught up with him about a quarter mile from the casino. Briston was arrested, but did not comply with demands to put his hands behind his back. As is customary, police warned him and then tased him. Briston was reportedly tased once “in the upper right leg” for a second or two. He complied and was taken into custody, but began to complain that his cuffs were too tight. Next he complained of difficulty breathing and chest pains, and then went into cardiac arrest. Police called for an ambulance, but Briston was pronounced dead on arrival at Cannonsburg General.

Washington County Coroner Tim Warco reported that “there were no signs of any external or internal trauma,” though the autopsy results are pending.

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