That’s the account and accusation relayed by Reason.com. Over two years ago, 62-year-old Ohioan Nick Christie was detained for public intoxication while on a trip in the Tampa, Florida area.
The man’s wife asked that he be taken to the hospital, but Lee County cops allegedly decided instead to “strip Christie naked, tie him to a chair, cover his face, and then pepper spray him repeatedly, until he died.”
A new picture recently obtained by a local news crew shows Christie’s body, swollen and stained, during the incident. And it’s sparking fresh controversy over what happened.
At the time, his death was ruled a homicide because he was restrained and repeatedly pepper-sprayed by law enforcement officers. But to this day, no one has been charged with a crime, and the Lee County State Attorney cleared the sheriff’s office of criminal fault in the case.
Here is a video, courtesy of WTVT-TV, that gives an overview of the case:
“I was shocked. This was something out of a horror movie,” says Joyce Christie, the man’s wife.
She’s filed a wrongful death lawsuit, which alleges Nicks was pepper sprayed 10 times over a 48-hour period.
Monshay Gibbs was a deputy trainee at the jail at the time. Under oath in a video, she said that Christie had “a spit mask on and was naked,” during his detainment. Gibbs testified that Christie pleaded with guards to take off the spit mask because he couldn’t breathe
He was eventually taken to the hospital but died of heart failure.
“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,” Cleveland-based lawyer Nick DiCello, who represents the Christie family, told the station. “That evokes thoughts of being tortured.”