Was Doug Boucher’s Death Justified?

Published On December 20, 2012 | By Pete Eyre | Articles

Doug Boucher

Three years ago – Dec. 13th, 2009 to be exact – Doug Boucher died after his skull fractured on the pavement. He fell, after being tasered by Daniel Fry, who works at the Mason (OH) Police Department. Fry claims to have acted on the orders of his colleague, Sean McCormick.

When this story broke, the lamestream media in the area communicated only that “Boucher was struck with the stun gun after he tried to go after the clerk and hit an officer with a cuffed hand” – a quote attributed to unnamed “officials.” (How convenient these journalists – supposedly watchdogs – think it sufficient to merely parrot statements and not ask questions.)

Five weeks later, Rachel Hutzel, who, like Fry and McCormick, is also employed at an entity that subsists on stolen money under the auspices of “justice”, said that she and her team were done investigating the incident, and had found no wrongdoing.

Boucher’s family pressed on, not satisfied with the lack of accountability for the demise of their son.

Earlier this week they announced they’d filed suit against the Mason Police Department. Part of their rationale is new information that has come to light about the final seconds of their sons life:

Police in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason previously said only that Doug Boucher, 39, died after he was shocked by a Taser, but they hadn’t revealed how many times or other details surrounding the Dec. 13, 2009, incident, including the fact that an unresponsive Boucher was lying face-down on the ground for five of the seven stuns he received.

Information downloaded from the device showed that Fry used the Taser on Boucher six times in a 75-second period — five times after he had stopped moving. A third officer, Bradley Walker, testified that when he arrived, he saw McCormick hit a motionless Boucher with a baton about five times

After repeatedly being tased, hit with a baton, and kicked, Bradley Walker – a colleague of Fry and McCormick who had arrived on the scene – approached Boucher with his handcuffs. Walker has since stated that McCormick “looked at me and he said, ‘We might have to shoot this guy.'”

Soon after, those responsible for the barrage of brutality toward Boucher realized that he was not breathing. He was pronounced dead soon after.

And for what?

Daniel Fry (L), Sean McCormick (R)

Boucher had allegedly made a “lewd comment” to the convenience store clerk. Fry and McCormick, who were told of that interaction, approached Boucher and questioned him about the exchange.

Both Fry and McCormick admit that Boucher apologized and made his way to his car. But, before Boucher entered the vehicle, McCormick approached from behind and put his hand on Boucher’s shoulder.

Those still alive claim that that’s when Boucher became upset – eventually hitting Fry, who was attempting to handcuffing him. Soon after, the tasering/beating occurred.

The next chapter in this saga is legal land, Jan. 10th, 2013 at:

US District Court – Southern District of Ohio
100 E 5th St
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Unsurprisingly, those employed at the Mason Police Department are clamoring for the case to be dismissed.

Boucher’s parents, however, are pushing for jury trial, which they hope will happen in February. Their attorney, Jennifer Branch, said that the situation never should have happened, as Boucher should not have been approached as he was making his way to his vehicle. Especially since, as she points out, making a lewd comment isn’t a criminal offense.

If you’re in/near the Cincinnati area and care to join Boucher’s family in their quest for accountability, please do. And if you’re so-inclined, record the proceeding or take notes and share what unfolds via http://CopBlock.org/Submit.

Feel free to share your thoughts or inquire of Daniel Fry, Sean McCormick and/or Bradley Walker:

Mason Police Department

  • http://www.imaginemason.org/city-government/safety-services/police-department
  • 6000 Mason-Montgomery Road, Mason, OH 45040
  • 513.229.8560 (or after hours 513.925.2525)
  • [email protected]

In Ohio? Connect with Ohio CopBlock

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About The Author

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, Eyre seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability. Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation. He later hit the road as co-founder of the Motorhome Diaries and Liberty On Tour, and now resides in the 'shire.
  • PSOSGT

    Here’s what I’m getting out of the article. He was tasered. My guess is that the 1st hit made him fall, strike his head. Was that 1st shot justified? If so, the suit should be dismissed, or a part of it.

    2ndly. Excessive force, if there was excessive force, beyond that is still fair game IMO.

    My resoning behing this and an example. I’m chasing a guy who just commited a crime. I get close enough to him and I taser him. he falls and hit’s hit head with enough force that it causes internal bleeding. I then proceed to beat the crap out of him. The initial use of force(taser) is justified when trying to apprehend someone, I think we all agree on that. So if he died as a result of that, it’s on him. If I then continue to assault him using excessive force, causing more injuries, it’s on me.

  • John Q Public

    A man died Sunday night after Mason police shocked him with a Taser stun gun, officers said.
    Investigators said 39-year-old Douglas Boucher had gone to Speedway gas station Saturday night and verbally attacked a cashier, and returned again the following evening and began yelling at her again.
    Officers happened to walk into the Reading Road gas station around 11:15 p.m. as Boucher yelled obscene requests at the woman, 20-year-old Christina Hicks, and she asked them to escort him outside.
    “He verbally accosted Miss Hicks and in a profane manner, sexual requests being made in profane terms,” said Chief Mike Kelly, of Mason police.
    Police said Boucher, who was suspected of being involved in a hit-and-run crash earlier Sunday evening, refused to cooperate and began fighting with officers as they attempted to handcuff him outside.
    “The officer attempted to control him by cuffing his wrists,” Kelly said. “In the process, with only one cuff on, Mr. Boucher wrestled away from the officer and struck him in the head with his cuffed hand.”
    Boucher then attempted to chase Hicks, police said, and an officer fired the electronic stun gun at him.
    Moments later, police said, Boucher stopped breathing and then was rushed to West Chester Medical Center, where he died.
    The officer who was hit in the head was taken to Bethesda North Hospital for evaluation, and he was treated and released.
    The Warren County coroner said autopsy results were incomplete, and a cause of death would not be determined until toxicology, microscopic and X-ray screens results were available in several weeks.
    Both officers involved, Patrolman Daniel Fry and Patrolman Sean McCormick, have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard procedure.
    Boucher played bass in several area bands, including Hellcat Alley, and is survived by an 8-year-old daughter.
    “He was a very passionate person — passionate about his daughter, his music and living life fully,” said his ex-wife, Sheryl Olszewski.
    Friends say Boucher was in poor health when he played his last show less than 24 hours before he died.
    “I’m just pretty shocked about the whole thing and hearing it just because of the character I know him to be,” band member Kevin Conner said.

    Increased Scrutiny

    It’s the first local Taser death since Kevin Piskura died after being Tasered by Oxford police last year. The city responded by taking Tasers off the streets.
    The coroner later ruled a heart problem and excessive alcohol use combined with the Taser to kill the Chicago man.
    After months of study, the city manager has decided to give Tasers back to Oxford officers in January. On the conditions they have additional training and tighter restrictions on when they can be used.
    “Anytime you use force there is a possibility injuries can occur. So you try to use the least amount of force to affect that arrest,” Oxford City Manager Douglas Elliott said.
    The Mason police chief said there are no plans to take Tasers away from his officers right now.
    In 2008, the National Institute of Justice said studies show use of shock devices is not risk free, but exposure is safe in the vast majority of cases.

    MASON – Two Mason police officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the death of a man who fell and died of a skull fracture after police shot him with a Taser in December.
    Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel determined that a state investigation and evidence in the death of Douglas Boucher of Mason indicate that Officers Daniel Fry and Sean McCormick did not commit a criminal act during the Dec. 13 incident.
    In a letter to Mason police dated Jan. 22, Hutzel said her office was closing the case.
    Police alleged that Boucher, 39, ran his vehicle into a parked car at his apartment complex, then drove about a mile to the Speedway gas station at Tylersville Road and U.S. 42, where he was harassing a female clerk.
    When police arrived because of the disturbance, they said Boucher refused to leave the store and struggled with them.
    Boucher was struck with the stun gun after he tried to go after the clerk and hit an officer with a cuffed hand, officials said.

  • BJ

    According to the article, Boucher had already apologized and was in the process of leaving scene. Lewd comments while inappropriate are not against the law so the officers had no cause to go hands-on with him, escalating a benign situation into one that resulted in a death.

    Don’t see how they can defend their use of force as acceptable when the use of force was most likely unnecessary to begin with. Looks like the officers just picked a fight the result of which was a death. A situation where any ordinary citizen would be facing harsh consequences without a badge to hide behind. Typical police tactic pick a fight then claim self defense under color of authority when their actions actually see the light of day.

  • BJ

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/12/17/police-shocked-man-after-fall.html

    Hundreds of pages of newly filed court documents in the case reveal the moments leading up to Boucher’s sudden death.

    Officers Daniel Fry and Sean McCormick were at a Mason convenience store on the night of Dec. 13, 2009, when a 19-year-old clerk told them that a customer — the 6-foot-tall, 300-pound Boucher — had just made a lewd comment to her, had made the same comment to her earlier that day, and she wanted him to leave, according to the officers’ report.

    When officers approached Boucher, a musician who had untreated bipolar disorder, they testified that Boucher repeatedly apologized and became nervous before they ordered him outside. When McCormick approached him, “he clenches his fists and he just screams at me” to leave him alone, the officer said….

    Jennifer Branch, the Boucher family’s attorney, said that the situation never should have happened, that Boucher should have been allowed to get in his car and leave because making a lewd comment is not a criminal offense. But even after the alleged assault on Fry, Branch said, the use of force was inappropriate.

  • http://yahoo larry

    Kelly Thomas

  • PSOSGT

    BJ… she wanted him to leave. If he wouldn’t. That’s tresspassing, which is a crime everywhere.

  • underoath

    BJ- 2917.11(A)(2) Ohio Revised Code.

  • BluEyeDevil

    BJ you are correct and the FACT is (for all you cop lovers) that he was in the process of leaving and should have been able to leave as requested by the officers. The cops escalated the situation because they didn’t like what he was saying. Pigs these days are thinskined. They are a very cowardly animal. Can’t handle the heat get out of the fire. Nobody is forcing you to be a cop.
    I got to tell you, I have been in hairy situations across seas serving my country, and I never or any of my brothers that I served with murdered people because they swore at us or even said they were going to kill us. We only killed when being fired upon, its called the rules of engagement.
    To all you enablers that troll this site, you can spit all the facts and case law and bullshit you want. Deep down inside you know the only reason that you waste your time in this forum is because you know that you have to defend the bad behavior and out right crimes perpetrated by your kind. If you knew deep inside that you were honorable and justified in the work that you do that you would not have even waste your time making cop haters try to love you. LOL your pathetic and you know it.
    At the end of the day, there is no honor in tazing anyone, putting your hands in a womans pants and finger raping her, shooting unarmed people, enforcing unconstitutional laws, stealing from people you say you are “protecting”, intimidation, threats, conforming to a policy of violating civil rights, thought policing, fuck I could go on forever.
    Shameful!!!!!!!!!!!

  • certain

    It’s insane that cops can execute you for something that a DA wouldn’t even pursue criminal charges for.

    And yet that same DA will say the cop did nothing wrong.

    They should just stop having them take any oath. It’s kind of pointless.
    Oh well, maybe it helps them sleep at night.

  • t.

    Devil: So, let’s explore your thinking. Now the information is that this guy is “bi polar”. And that for 2 days in a row he has been having these very inappropriate, sexually charged outbursts at the same female clerk at this store….and you think that just because he wants to go that the police shouldn’t intercede? Hmm. No care that he may be in crisis? Or that his behavior is spiraling out of co trol and maybe next time he sexually assaults this woman? None of that matters huh? Well, OK then. Go get a job in the conveien e store and don’t call as the wacko who comes in everyday saying his is gonna rape you…has you bent over the counter plowing you. Keep thinking, its what you think you do best.

  • 2minutes

    @t

    And by intercede you mean’ beat the guy to death after he has complied with a request to leave the premises’?

  • BluEyeDevil

    @T, No what I’m saying is that unless they were going to charge him with loitering, tresspassing, dissorderly conduct……whatever, than yes they should have let him go on his way. Instead, they escalated a situation that got out of control, because they didn’t like what he said. Then they murdered him. Now if that woman felt that strongly that her safety was in jeapordy. Maybe if she was armed this idiot would think real long an hard before attacking her or even threatening her in her place of business. And don’t let me hear that you and your kind are worried about this idiots mental health, I mean they MURDERED him. They were not worried about shit. Having said all that, these two cops look like some healthy boys and should have been able to take this idiot down, cuff him and throw his ass in the back of the squad. If not at least waited for back up. If they did then we would not be having this conversation right now, would we.
    You know whats going to happen now, civil suit at the taxpayers expense. You know I’m right. Lets be honest if this idiot was going to attack this woman, he would have already had his way with her before they even got there. Cops don’t prevent crime they just investigate crime.
    I’m not saying she shouldn’t have called the police. I’m saying you cops need come up with a better way of conducting yourselves. I mean why do you keep destroying the reputation of what was once and honorable profession? How do you expect anyone to trust the police when they know they are going to lie about what really happened in the report to save their own arses instead of the truth. How can these pigs get up in the morning and look at themselves in the mirror. I have some suggestions if you would like to hear them! We know that will not happen…..RIGHT!
    If someone I loved worked in a convenience(proper spelling) store and was being harassed. I would tell them that they should definately call the cops. Furthermore, I would make sure they were armed to protect themselves, I mean the cops by law do not have to protect anyone and are always to late to catch anyone in the act. It’s only logical
    So, let’s explore your thinking. The police should have tazered and beaten this guy to death because he is possibly “bi-polar” or mentally ill and making threats to some woman. You get to the scene and do not arrest him for anything, just taze a unconsious man several times after he is lying prone on the floor, beat him with a baton and discuss shooting him. Don’t you see that as a warped outlook on a situation that could have been prevented in the first place.
    Now one last thing, I would have thought that you being the enabler of bad behavior would’ve left you open to an honest debate of expressing yourself without insulting another person who frequents this forum of like minded individuals. It shows your contempt for an opposing point of view. Once again, you wonder why no one respects you and your kind.
    Sir,finally, I understand all to well what handling non compliant people is like. I had to check for weapons, detain, and incarcerate people who wanted to kill me, much less be left alone. We still acted professionally with honor and never had to kill someone because we didn’t like what they said. All this in the middle of a highly stressed warzone. Let me mention that the military is not civilian law enforcement, civilian law enforcement should conduct themselves even more diligently to the public that it swore an oath to the constitution to protect and to serve, despite what your personal feelings are.

  • t.

    Devil: Got no further then you suggesting the victim actually commit a crime to threatening, assaulting or killing the very person you said didn’t do anything wrong. I quit reading after that nonsense.

  • BluEyeDevil

    @T….Never said that victim committed any crime, you obviously can’t read very well. Hell, if the perp was actually threatening her life she should have shot his ass and let you morons clean up the mess. If what I am saying is nonsense then why do you keep replying to my posts. It bothers you doesn’t it. You know I’m right and your a coward.

  • t.

    Oh, OK. You caught me. Enjoy living in your miserable world.

  • BluEyeDevil

    @T.
    No I’m just far more intelligent than you are. Your nothing more than an intellectually inferior turd.
    I live in a world of ubiquitous light and understanding, I smile everyday watching people wake up to what is really happening in this world. Being miserable is an abstract concept to me because I have everything a man could want, beautiful wife, great kids, a meaningful job, and I am great shape because of clean and honest lifestyle but more than that I have freedom of thought and being. This idea you will never understand because your sad at heart and sickened in your mind, to me that would be a miserable world.

  • underoath

    Ok…I just can’t stand it anymore.

    You’re, damn it, you’re!!

    Not your. YOU’RE!

  • t.

    Oath: tablet is possessed. Sometimes I catch that it changed things and sometimes i don’t.

  • t.

    Devil: if you insist.

  • underoath

    That was directed toward the Mr Devil.

    Hes a habitual offender.

  • underoath

    That was directed toward the Mr Devil.

    He’s a habitual offender.

  • BluEyeDevil

    LOL, another cop for me verbally abuse. UNDEROATH, your name alone is a back asswards contradiction. Hey when you took your oath where your fingers crossed. Mr. “It does not apply to me”. Let me guess you too are a leach sucking on the tits of the state. You are right I am a habitual offender of embarrassing you and your type. You and T. and common and all you other trolls trying to change the hearts and minds of like minded people who got you figured out. In my humble opinion, your manly ego’s are hurt or you wouldn’t bother with people on a cop hating website. LOL, JOKE!
    Hey let me ask you the same question I asked T., which by the way he still hasn’t answered (he can only resort to name calling and refer to me as “dope smoker”). What will you do or think should be done when your federalized gods tell you to confiscate any gun from the public?????? You will be asked to go on a suicide mission and I implore you to follow orders, please do.

  • t.

    Answered. Just learn to read.

  • Rick

    Why not make it so that those who claim to serve and protect yet show themselves to be nothing but abusive, megalomaniac vermin who obviously consider themselves ABOVE the law, are NOT indemnified by their employers/counties for doing the wrong thing, for example, unnecessary excessive use of tasers results in a $10,000 personal fine if they are found guilty of acting outside guidelines / procedure requirements. A good rule of thumb to determine this would be to base the decision on the FINAL outcome of any court proceending against them. It certainly seems a better alternative then one option that came up in discussion. Namely, a victim not being able to get justice from their own justice system and simply loading a vehicle with a ton or so of superphosphate and diesel fuel and taking out a major law enforcement premises which includes the honest cops who DO protect and serve.

  • Daniel Saulmon

    Thank you blueyedevil, reading your comments here has been a learning experience for me. I appreciate your efforts and time speaking to those it appears are not worthy of your time. My guess is that if it wasnt for you, the trolls might have had a chance with their efforts here.
    Again, thanks for the education.

  • BluEyeDevil

    Thank you Daniel
    The whole reason these trolls are here is because they know they don’t have a leg to stand on when there shit is thrown back in their faces and they have to make up reasons for their existence. All of these cops who are here trying to change our hearts and minds are walking contradictions. Sometimes they have valid points but then they ruin any validity they have with those points by the morally bankrupt bullshit regurgitated from their mouths. Point blank they are stupid and they know it.

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