Editor’s Note: Content may be disturbing to some
BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – Newly released dash camera footage sheds light on the death of a Beaufort County man who passed away days after a taser encounter with police.
On Feb. 17 last year, deputies with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office were called to the home of Trey Pringle, a man with known mental problems.
The situation escalated that evening, and Pringle was tased multiple times by deputies. He suffered a cardiac arrest and died three days later.
Last week, 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone announced his decision not to charge the two deputies involved in the encounter. Now, nearly two hours of video and audio released from his office brings a closer look into that night.
“We need to take him to the hospital to be evaluated because he’s..he’s not right. he’s not right,” says Pringle’s mother Kwajalean Pringle just after deputies arrived at her Seabrook home.
Inside was her son, who has just punched a television and was bleeding.
The footage is from Deputy Dario Sosa’s dash camera and mic. He and deputy Daniel Boone were first on scene.
“You don’t want to talk to a doctor?” they asked.
“I don’t want to talk to nobody,” Pringle answered.
The deputies tried to follow up with words of comfort.
“Here’s what’s going to happen. We are going to put handcuffs on you. Sit up ok.. You are good..you are not in any trouble,” one deputy said.
But seconds after those statements, chaos can be heard — screaming, yelling, and furniture being tossed around.
“We have a combative mental patient barricaded in the back room,” the deputies said.
Two minutes after the first outburst comes a second, and the first round of taser fire.
“You are going to get tased again. Get on the ground, on the ground!” one deputy warned Pringle.
“Get on the ground for us. We don’t want to hurt you. Get on the ground, we are trying to help you out,” said another. “Calm down now, buddy, we are going to take care of you now buddy.”
Deputy Sosa said he had no other choice but to tase Pringle, as is noted in the nearly 500-page report from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
Pringle was tased three times, all in the space of 6 minutes.
In the video, you can see his mother upset, surrounded by the family trying to calm her down. At the same time, inside, Pringle’s condition takes a turn for the worse.
“All right y’all start CPR… start CPR, cardiac arrest,” said the EMT.
Pringle went into cardiac arrest and was treated on the scene. He was then taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital where he died three days later.
After Pringle was taken away by ambulance, the deputies detailed what went on inside to their captain.
On deputy said was punched three times in the face. Another said he was kicked in the face.
“After he struck you is when you tased him?” the captain asked.
“Yeah,” said Sosa
After an 8-month-long investigation by SLED, which included 30 interviews, 33 hours of audio and dash camera and 500 photographs, the deputies were cleared of any charges by the Solicitor’s Office.
In a statement, Pringle’s family said they did not agree with Stone’s decision not to prosecute, and they called for more officer training when it comes to dealing with mentally ill people.