Autopsy: Taser leads found on teen killed in ATV crash

Candice Williams and Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — A 15-year-old Detroit boy who crashed his ATV and died after he was hit by a Taser by a Michigan State Police trooper had leads from an electrical weapon embedded in the left side of his head and left lower back, according to an autopsy report released Friday.

Damon Grimes, who struck a parked flatbed truck, died from blunt force head trauma, according to the report from the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office. His death was ruled an accident.

Grimes died Aug. 26 after an encounter with a two-person Michigan State Police unit. State police officials said Grimes did not obey an order to stop driving his ATV illegally in the street, and that Trooper Mark Bessner used his Taser on him.

According to the autopsy, Grimes suffered a dislocated skull and multiple scrapes and cuts on his face. He also had “multiple areas of bleeding underneath the scalp, and multiple contusions and abrasions on the torso and extremities.”

A federal judge Friday ordered the state police to preserve evidence related to the fatal incident.

U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain issued the order following a request from the teenager’s family, which was prompted by a Detroit News story detailing an investigation into a state police sergeant who allegedly discarded one of the Taser wires used in the incident.

The judge, however, did not schedule a hearing that likely would have disclosed evidence gathered during the ongoing investigation.

Four days after Grimes’ death, family attorney Geoffrey Fieger filed a $50 million lawsuit against Bessner.

State police suspended Bessner because he allegedly deployed his stun gun from inside a moving vehicle. He later resigned.

Two other state troopers have been suspended in connection with the incident.