Death of N.C. man hit with Taser under investigation

MORGANTON, N.C. -- The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the death of a Morganton man who died Sunday morning after two police officers shocked him with Tasers.

Donald Clarke Grant, 54, fell and hit his head Saturday night after two officers from the Morganton Public Safety Department tried subduing him with Taser shocks, said Chief Mark Tolbert.

He was taken to Grace Hospital and taken to Mission Memorial Hospital in Asheville at about 10:40 p.m., Tolbert said. Clark died in Asheville about 9:45 a.m. Sunday.

Grant, authorities said, had been pounding on a neighbor's door at about 8:15 p.m. Saturday and had made several threats toward other neighbors.

When officers arrived at the Morganton neighborhood, near Logan and South Matthews Street, they asked Clark to return to his home, but he refused, Tolbert said.

Clark charged at the officers several times, Tolbert said, but would back away before reaching them. The officers told Clark they were going to arrest him for communication threats and resisting and delaying officers, Tolbert said, but Clark would not listen to the officers' instructions.

"They tried to get him to go into the house, so they could leave," Tolbert said, "but he continued to charge and retreat."

Clark did not threaten police with a weapon, Tolbert said.

When Clark charged at the officers again, Tolbert said, two of the four police officers shocked him with their Tasers. The force of the shock caused Clark to fall and hit his head, Tolbert said.

The four officers involved, including the two who shocked Clark, have been put an administrative leave with pay until the SBI has finished its review of the incident, Tolbert said.

Tolbert would not name the officers involved.