Crime

Louisa man dies after two Taser shocks during fight with police outside graduation

A man who police said was acting up outside a high school graduation in Louisa died after being shocked twice with a Taser while fighting with police.

Kentucky State Police said in a news release that an autopsy was conducted Saturday on Billy J. Collins at the state medical examiner's office in Frankfort.

The final report is pending, but the preliminary investigation by state police does not indicate "criminal actions involving any law enforcement officers," according to the news release.

Louisa police Sgt. Steven Wilburn was attending the Lawrence County High School graduation on Friday when he saw Collins, 56, of Louisa, drive off the road and into a ditch, where he got stuck, police said.

State police said Collins "began acting in an inappropriate manner by yelling and cursing toward individuals attending the graduation ceremony."

He was arrested on charges of driving on a suspended license, failure to maintain insurance and disorderly conduct.

When Collins got to the police department, state police said, he "refused to comply with all officer commands" and hit Wilburn "multiple times" before barricading himself in the foyer.

A member of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department who responded to Wilburn's call for help deployed his Taser "through a small crack in the door, striking Collins," according to state police. The Taser was not effective, and Collins removed the probes.

State police said Wilburn then came into the foyer through another door and, when Collins still refused to comply with his orders, he deployed his Taser on Collins again.

That time, "the Taser was effective, but Collins continued to resist and would not comply with officer's commands," according to the news release.

The officers hit Collins with "closed empty hands" and batons, state police said

Once Collins was subdued, they restrained him and placed him "in a seated position" and called for emergency medical services, according to the news release.

Before EMS arrived, "Collins began exhibiting signs of a medical emergency," state police said.

He was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center, where he died about 9:30 p.m.

State police said the investigation is continuing and that "prior medical issues are being reviewed."

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