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No charges after local man dies during arrest

'In time, the officers were finally able to gain control of the man who was believed to be suffering from drug-induced psychosis'
Gordon Dale Couvrette.

No charges will be laid against North Bay police officers after a 43-year-old Harris Drive man died after being tasered in his bedroom during an arrest last year.

See: Local man dies after being tasered by police

The Special Investigations Unit, in a news release this morning determined there are no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges in relation to the death of Gordon Dale Couvrette.

See: SIU release name of man killed in taser death

On the morning of February 22, 2018, shortly after 5 a.m., North Bay Police Service officers were called to a home by a neighbour about a domestic matter.

Police say some hours before the domestic assault, Couvrette had ingested a quantity of a number of drugs, including cocaine, hydromorphone and morphine.

"Shortly thereafter, he became extremely agitated and paranoid."

The man grabbed a golf club that was in the room and started swinging it at an imaginary person, who he believed was there to harm him and his girlfriend. She tried to calm him down but to no avail. He grabbed her by the hair and placed her in a headlock. By the time of the officers’ arrival, they were both on the floor. 

According to the SIU report, soon after entering the home, the officers became involved in a struggle with a man as they tried to subdue him. After several minutes of attempting to grapple the man into submission, one officer deployed his Conducted Energy Weapon (Taser) but this had no discernible effect.

The officers had great difficulty because of what was described as the man's “superhuman strength” and the perspiration covering his body.

"In time, the officers were finally able to gain control of the man who was believed to be suffering from drug-induced psychosis," adds the report. "While waiting for an ambulance, the man’s breathing began to fail and as such, officers began to administer CPR. The paramedics took charge of the man’s treatment and eventually transported him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead."

Couvrette was pronounced dead at 6:21 a.m.

The subsequent post mortem examination report described the cause of Courvette's death in the following terms: “Sudden death with no anatomical cause associated with acute-on-chronic cocaine and amphetamine abuse/intoxication, forcible struggle and possible excited delirium syndrome.” 

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death.

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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