Troy Police: Taser never used on man who died in their custody

[anvplayer video=”5196360″ station=”998132″]

A taser was taken out, but never used on a man who died in Troy Police custody last Friday, police said Wednesday.

The man, now identified by police as Woody Smith, 48, was arrested for trespassing inside a Lansingburgh home.

Initial responding officers are identified as Richard Romero, who has been with Troy Police for four years and Joseph Gomes, who has been at the department for two years. ​

Police were there as Smith tried to escape through a window, they said.

Smith began to experience what police called ‘medical distress’ shortly after being handcuffed.

Police said they took off the handcuffs and gave him Narcan and other medical aid while they called for EMS, but he was pronounced dead at a hospital.

People close to Smith had said the information police released did not tell the whole story.

NewsChannel 13 spoke to Jamie Rogers, a friend of Smith’s who described him like a brother to her.

Rogers is open about her past struggles with homelessness and addiction. She said Smith, who friends called Shabba, was there for her during a difficult period of time when she lived in Troy.

Thursday, family and friends are planning to honor him at a balloon release.

“This would be a really good opportunity, one, for people to see all the people who care about him and are going to come out to support him,” she said. “Not in a negative way, we’re not coming to say, you know, here we are, we’re mad at the police. Here we are, we lost somebody that we love, he’s an important person to us.”

The State Attorney General’s Office is involved in the investigation.