Taser death still under investigation
BALLSTON SPA >> The death of a Ballston Spa man is still under investigation after an incident Saturday night that police said they were forced to deploy Tasers on the man.
Daniel C. Satre, 43, of Ballston Spa died at 12:01 a.m. Sunday as a result of the use of Tasers administered by state police and Ballston Spa police.
Police said they responded to Saratoga Avenue in the Village of Ballston Spa just before 11 p.m. on Saturday to respond to a call for a disorderly subject screaming and walking in front of cars on the busy two-way street in the village.
Ballston Spa police said the subject became combative when they attempted to arrest him for disorderly conduct. Ballston Spa police requested additional assistance by radio, and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department and state police responded.
George Goss, a Ballston Spa resident and neighbor of Satre, rushed home after his children called to tell him about the large police presence on their block.
“You couldn’t even get down the street, I rushed home when my kids called and he was already on the ground when I got here,” he said.
According to neighbors, Satre was surrounded by police on a patch of grass between two homes, just down the street from his home at 130 Saratoga Ave.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Goss said.
Goss didn’t know his neighbor personally but he said he’d always offer a sincere hello when they’d see him.
As of Monday afternoon, neighbors laid flowers on the spot where Satre interacted with police. The grass remains disheveled as a reminder of the wild fight with police.
Ballston Spa Police Chief Charles Koenig said Satre was warned several times that officers were preparing to use stun guns on him.
Two officers from the sheriff’s office, two state troopers and two Ballston Spa police officers were at the scene. Troopers and village police deployed their Tasers in an attempt to bring Satre under control, and police said he fell unconscious after being handcuffed. Officers administered CPR before he was transported to Saratoga Hospital by Ballston Spa Community Emergency Corps, where he later died.
An autopsy was scheduled and performed Monday, but according to the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office, the results will not be immediately available. Acting District Attorney Karen Heggen said the police are continuing to conduct interviews and gather information from the incident, and the DA’s office will await the conclusion of the police investigation.
Ballston Spa police said both criminal and internal investigations are being done, but no disciplinary action has been taken toward the officers involved.
Daniel Persing, a partner at Tully Rinckey PLLC., has represented many in wrongful death cases.
“A lot of things come into play with the use of Tasers. Proper calibration is one. If all the officers were using them that certainly wouldn’t have been necessary. That’s certainly have an effect on the heart,” he said.
Persing said many wrongful death cases can go one of two ways, a court could determine he resisted arrest and the courts may not be entitled to much, but if it is determined as a wrongful death, the family may be entitles to compensation from losses.
“Certainly there’s still a lot of questions here,” he said.
Satre was from Randolph, Vt., and attended high school there. He studied at Mitchell College in Connecticut, according to his Facebook page.
According to Amnesty International, 604 documented Taser-related deaths have been reported since 2011.