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Man tased three times by Sheriff's Deputies while in diabetic emergency settles lawsuit for nearly $200,000

William Carr became incoherent and in and out of consciousness inside an Encinitas restaurant. Deputies assumed he was high.

ENCINITAS, Calif. — A man who was in the grips of a diabetic emergency and was tased four times and kneed in the head by San Diego Sheriff's Deputies who believed that he was resisting arrest and under the influence of drugs will receive $196,500 to settle his excessive force lawsuit against the County of San Diego.

Public records obtained by CBS 8 show the County of San Diego paid Encinitas resident, William Carr, $196,500 on February 27 to settle the nearly lawsuit.

On July 25, 2018, after playing drums with his band at the Light Church in Encinitas, the 31-year-old Carr felt his blood sugar dropping rapidly. 

He had recently changed insulin pumps and he knew that he needed some carbohydrates to boost his blood sugar levels. 

With less than two hours until the band's next performance, Carr grabbed his skateboard and skated to downtown Encinitas for food. 

He sat at the counter of an Asian restaurant and before long he grew tired, he started to sweat, and became confused.  He dozed in and out of sleep prior to ordering any food that was needed to provide his body with sugar.

The manager at the restaurant assumed the 31-year-old Black man was high on drugs. 

After some time, he called the Sheriff's Department for help.

"He just looks to be out of his mind," the manager said on the 911 call, according to court documents obtained by CBS 8. The manager said Carr appeared to be “on some sort of hallucinogen.” 

More than 40 minutes passed and Carr remained at the counter, falling in and out of consciousness when Sheriff's Deputies arrived at the restaurant. 

According to court documents Carr was incoherent and unable to follow the deputies' commands. 

Those documents include the dialogue between Carr and Sheriff's Deputy Jeffrey Chu.

Chu: Do you need medical attention?
Carr: Do I what?
Chu: Do you need to see a medical --?
Carr: I’m asking you why? I’m asking why?
Chu: Do you need medical attention?
Carr: I’m asking why? I’m asking why?  

After some minutes of back and forth, Chu went outside to update his commanding officer.

"He’s refusing to leave," reads the exchange included in court records. "He’s been here 40 minutes. The manager said that they’re willing to go ahead and sign the Citizens Arrest Form. I believe he’s 11-5 because he just keeps on asking, why, why, why. We gave him numerous times to walk outside and so we can talk to him and he won’t. So at one point he stood up, and scratched his butt, and sat down. So he just wants to play this game going back and forth, back and forth. So it's been probably like five to 10 minutes since we’ve been talking to him trying to get him out. I think that’s enough. So I don’t know if we want to go hands-on, put him in cuffs, and walk him out the back."

After returning inside, deputies grabbed Carr to place him in handcuffs. According to the lawsuit, the deputies pushed Carr into the bar counter and as Carr deliriously asked why they were grabbing him, a deputy fired a taser charge into Carr.

Deputies, according to the lawsuit, then put Carr in a headlock and forced him to the ground. One deputy "deployed a knee strike to the side of Carr's head," reads the court documents. 

Deputies tased Carr three more times within seconds of one another.

The restaurant manager later testified that Carr was more confused than resisting the order of the deputies. 

"...[It] just appeared that he was just confused as to why all of this was happening... So any struggle he put up I think was just his confusion about why this was happening."

Deputies then managed to take Carr outside of the restaurant in handcuffs. 

Once outside, Carr managed to gain some composure and told the deputies that he was diabetic and was in "extreme pain," reads the court documents.

Paramedics finally arrived at the scene. 

Court documents show that a blood test showed Carr’s blood sugar level registered 29 mg/dL, a level that one of the paramedics was overhead on the body camera footage as saying, "it's the lowest I’ve ever seen in someone that’s still breathing.”

Despite the medical diagnosis, deputies refused to uncuff Carr and cited him with trespassing and resisting arrest. 

The District Attorney later declined to file formal charges. 

CBS 8 reached out to the Sheriff's Department for comment. This article will be updated when it responds. 

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