Oldsmar man, 58, dies after taken into protective custody by Pinellas deputies

Posted at 10:54 AM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 12:51:38-04

Pinellas County sheriff's detectives are investigating the death of a 58-year-old Oldsmar man who became unresponsive after deputies used a stun gun to subdue him.

Donald C. Degraw, who lived on Split Fork Drive in Oldsmar, was pronounced dead upon arrival at Tampa Community Hospital Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 7, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

According to sheriff's officials, deputies were attempting to take Degraw into protective custody when they used a stun gun to help secure him in handcuffs. During the course of placing Degraw in custody, he became unresponsive.

Oldsmar Fire Rescue paramedics treated Degraw on the scene before taking him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to the sheriff's office, deputies were originally called to Degraw's home at about 5:15 a.m. Wednesday. Deputies said Degraw's wife, Julie, reported her husband was in bed screaming and making grunting sounds.

Degraw told the first responders he had taken medication for post traumatic stress syndrome and refused medical attention, the report states. Paramedics and deputies determined Degraw didn't meet the criteria for Baker Act and they left the house.

Oldsmar Fire Rescue paramedics and Pinellas deputies responded to a second call at Degraw's home at about 3:45 p.m. Wednesday.  Degraw's wife said her husband was acting erratic again.

This time, deputies determined Degraw's behavior met the Baker Act criteria and they attempted to take him into protective custody. 

Detectives said deputies were concerned about Degraw's access to a loaded firearm within reach and used a stun gun to help secure Degraw in handcuffs.That is when he became unresponsive.

The next of kin has been notified.

The investigation continues.