Police Taser Claims Another Life

taser.jpgBy Shamus Toomey – Chicago Sun-Times |

A 24-year-old Lake View man died Thursday, five days after suburban Cincinnati police shocked him with a Taser outside a bar there.

Kevin Piskura, 24, of the 800 block of West Fletcher, had been hospitalized since the incident at 2 a.m. Saturday outside a bar in Oxford, Ohio, and he died Thursday afternoon at University Hospital in Cincinnati, his family said.

Piskura was surrounded by loved ones at the time of his death, and the family issued a written statement later in the day: “Today, we lost a son, a brother, a family member and a friend.”

Video was captured by the camera atop the Taser X26 stun gun used by the Oxford police officer who scuffled with Piskura early Saturday outside a bar near Miami University. Piskura graduated from the school in 2006 before moving to Chicago.

Piskura’s Lake View roommate, Steven G. Smith, 24, was being thrown out of the bar and began fighting with employees. A police officer ordered Smith to stop, but Piskura joined in and started fighting with the officer, who drew his Taser and warned them to stop, police said.

Smith backed off, but Piskura was hit in the chest by the Taser’s barbs — after Officer Geoff Robinson shouted “Taser” three times, per department policy, police said.

The dramatic, 69-second video of the incident shows Piskura rolling on the ground while being shocked for about 10 seconds. The incident is being investigated by the local county sheriff.

The officer who fired the Taser had been on the police force for two years. He was trained on the Taser in September and completed a refresher course April 12, police said.

Piskura’s father is a former interim police chief in suburban Cleveland, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

In the statement, Piskura’s family also noted: “No one feels this loss more deeply than we do, however we still request that people refrain from rash judgment.”