Investigation continues after woman high on bath salts dies following tasing

By LEXIE O’CONNOR

MUNNSVILLE, N.Y. (WKTV)– A Madison County woman is dead after being tasered by police Tuesday night, and information at the scene has led investigators to believe she was high on bath salts when she began beating her child.New York State Police say initial autopsy reports reveal that 35 year old Pamela McCarthy of Munnsville showed evidence of suffering from a heart attack two to three days prior to Wednesday’s autopsy. However, officials say there are no indications that the heart attack occurred during Tuesday night’s incident when police say they were forced to use a taser on her.

Authorities responded to McCarthy’s home on North Main Street in Munnsville on Tuesday night around 7:45 pm after receiving numerous reports from neighbors saying that the 35 year-old exited her apartment without any clothes on, holding her three year old child, then fell, falling on top of the child. The father of the child was able to remove the toddler from the area, and brought him to a grocery store across the street from the scene, authorities said. It was after this that authorities say McCarthy attempted to strangle one of her dogs.

When McCarthy physically resisted arrest and attempted to bite an officer, the officer then used pepper spray and needed assistance from another officer. When that had no effect, authorities say a taser was deployed on her. Shortly after that, State Police say McCarthy went into cardiac arrest and was transported to the Oneida Health Care Facility where she later died.

A day later, neighbors were still left wondering what caused McCarthy to act what they say was “out of the ordinary” for her.

“I mean, the strength that she had…she just wasn’t giving at all to the cops. It took two of them,” says Missy Love, who witnessed the incident.

While Love says she didn’t see McCarthy beat the child, police say other reports came in reporting her punching and choking the three year old and beginning to assault two neighbors. Authorities say McCarthy does have a history of using bath salts and has been arrested for endangering the welfare of a child previously.

The three year-old was transported to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse for minor injuries and has since been released to family members.

State Police say McCarthy may have had a medical procedure last week involving her heart. However, they are continuing to investigate that and await toxicology reports.

Madison County District Attorney’s Office plans to present the case to a grand jury after the investigation is complete.

In this Jan. 26, 2011, photo containers of bath salts, a synthetic cocaine, sit on a counter at Hemp's Above in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Synthetic substances that mimic marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs are making users across the nation seriously ill, causing seizures and hallucinations so intense that thousands of them seek help at emergency rooms. At the request of The Associated Press, the American Association of Poison Control Centers analyzed nationwide figures on calls related to synthetic drugs. The findings showed an alarming increase in the number of people seeking medical attention.  (AP Photo/The Patriot-News, Chris Knight) MANDATORY CREDIT Photo: Chris Knight, ASSOCIATED PRESS / AP2011

In this Jan. 26, 2011, photo containers of bath salts, a synthetic cocaine, sit on a counter at Hemp’s Above in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Synthetic substances that mimic marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs are making users across the nation seriously ill, causing seizures and hallucinations so intense that thousands of them seek help at emergency rooms. At the request of The Associated Press, the American Association of Poison Control Centers analyzed nationwide figures on calls related to synthetic drugs. The findings showed an alarming increase in the number of people seeking medical attention. (AP Photo/The Patriot-News, Chris Knight) MANDATORY CREDIT

UTICA (AP) — A synthetic drug known as “bath salts” is blamed for some bizarre behavior in central New York, including a woman’s alleged attempt to bite the face of a police officer.

Police in Utica were called to a city bar Saturday night to check out a woman described as emotionally disturbed. When an officer approached her, she lunged at him and tried to bite his face. Police say she screamed that she wanted to “kill someone and eat them.”

The woman was taken to a hospital for mental health evaluation.

Later, police were called to a home where a 20-year-old man was reported to have threatened to kill his mother and other family. Police found the man, Aubrey Vails, had ripped a door off its hinges and was punching a car in the driveway. He was charged with criminal mischief.