Man dies after police use taser in arrest

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PONCA CITY, Okla. - The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is looking into what it calls a "suspicious death" in Kay County earlier this month.

Roger "Rocky" Bales died in the hospital July 1, a day after Ponca City officers used a taser to bring him down.

"This kind of force on an old man is not okay," said Bales' daughter, Lindsey. "He was not hurting them. He was trying to get away from them. I just think it could have been deescalated some other way."

A spokesperson for the Ponca City Police Department said officers tried to pull Bales over for a broken tail light. He stopped his car in the South Avenue Liquor parking lot on 13th St. and South Avenue and took off running, police said.

Officers chased him down about a block away, near a Conoco gas station and used a taser. They called an ambulance, which took Bales to Alliance Health in critical condition.

"He couldn’t have gotten very far or very fast," said Lindsey Bales. "I could have pushed my dad over. He was 56 and he was having liver and kidney problems. He had just found out he had a heart condition. He used a breathing machine at night to sleep with."

It is not clear why Bales ran from officers, though he was a convicted felon. Records show he did time for drug possession and distribution, theft and eluding police officers.

"For him to have gotten out of the vehicle and have ran like that, in his health, I just don’t understand," said Lindsey Bales.

The OSBI is awaiting the results of an autopsy to complete its investigation. A spokeswoman said an autopsy will determine whether Bales died as a result of the taser or from other medical conditions.

It's unclear how long it will take for the state medical examiner to complete the autopsy.

Medical records from the hospital, provided by the family to NewsChannel 4, indicate Bales was diagnosed with cardiac arrest upon arrival. Records also show he had methamphetamine in his system.

The hospital's final diagnoses of Bales death include a heart attack, kidney failure, methamphetamine abuse and suspected organ damage due to a lack of oxygen.

Authorities say the patrolman who tased Bales has been on administrative leave since July 1, pending the outcome of the investigation.