A woman died Monday afternoon in Hoquiam after police officers used a Taser to control her as she fought with them. County coroner Lane Youmans identified the woman Tuesday as Sarah Palmer, age 35, of Hoquiam.
The incident began as a result of a fight between two women in a Hoquiam group home for “patients dealing with chronic mental health issues.”
Hoquiam Police were called to the home on the 300 block of N Street shortly before noon by a caregiver at the location reporting a physical altercation between two residents of the home. While one of the women, age 53, was being treated by paramedics, “the 35-year old female suspect, who had been separated from the victim in another room, suddenly became combative,” according to Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers. “The two officers struggled with the woman as she fought with the officers. The struggle carried the three across the kitchen and out onto an enclosed back porch.”
The officers deployed a Taser and the woman continued to struggle, the chief said. After they wrestled her to the floor, she was handcuffed and then “suddenly became unresponsive,” said Myers. Paramedics tending to the 53-year old victim were called to render aid. “Paramedics treated the female at the scene before she was transported to Grays Harbor Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead,” said Myers.
The two officers were reassigned to administrative duties. As a matter of procedure an outside agency, in this case the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office, will investigate the incident. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.