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Sheriff's Department Sued for Tying Up Tourist, Allegedly Pepper Spraying Him to Death

Back in 2009, 62-year-old Ohio resident Nick Christie traveled down to Florida to unwind and spend time with his brother. Christie has been showing signs of depression and erratic behavior, but perhaps the warm Florida sun would help him. Christie however never returned to Ohio. He died after being strapped to a chair and repeatedly pepper sprayed in a Florida jail.


According to My Fox Tampa Bay, Christie was arrested for disorderly intoxication during his trip back in March 2009. When his wife, Joyce, back in Ohio at the time, found out about the arrest she asked the Sheriff's department to take Christie to a hospital so he could be given his medication. Instead, he was taken to jail and placed in a restraint chair.

Officers used pepper spray to subdue Christie ten times over a 48-hour period. At one point he was stripped naked, tied to a chair, gagged with a spit mask, and pepper sprayed.

Sheriff's Department Sued for Tying Up Tourist, Allegedly Pepper Spraying Him to Death

"This photo is a picture of a man who is strapped to a chair naked inside a jail for hours with a hood over his face. That evokes thoughts of being tortured," says Cleveland-based lawyer Nick DiCello, a lawyer for the Christie family, told the station.

In the investigation, a deputy trainee on the scene told investigators that Christie plead with deputies to take off the spit mask because he couldn't breath.

Christie's Mug Shot
Christie's Mug Shot

Christie was eventually taken to a hospital and later died due to shock from the pepper spray. His death was declared a homicide, but all deputies involved were cleared.

However, the Christie family is now suiting the Lee County Sheriff's Office. That case should go to court next year.



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