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Man Tased on Honeymoon Island Dies

UPDATE:

The man who was tased several times by a Pinellas County deputy over the weekend has died.

James Barnes had been in a coma for the past two days at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg where he was pronounced dead Monday afternoon.

An autopsy will be perfromed to determine the cause of death.

Officials say that on Saturday, Barnes, 37, had gotten into an argument with his aunt on Honeymoon Island Beach.

Officers tried to subdue Barnes after he had allegedly punch him when he was trying to arrest him.  That’s when the officer tased Barnes three times.

Barnes’ friends  and family say they can’t believe he would act so violently.

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3/19/12

It was a frightening day for some beach goers on Honeymoon Island on Saturday as they watched a violent altercation between a man, his aunt and officers.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office say, James Barnes, 37, of Tarpon Springs, was at the State Park’s beach in the afternoon with his aunt.

They say he had received some bad news about a relationship and asked his aunt, Paula Yout, to help him “cleanse himself”.

However, while the two were in the water, Barnes started to become combative and violent toward the 48-year-old woman.

At that time a Department of Environmental Protection officer, Joseph Tactuk, 21, was patrolling the area when he saw what was happening.

Tactuk tried to calm Barnes down but the two began scuffling.

Authorities say Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy Ken Kubler arrived at that time and tried to help Tactuk.

Tactuk tried to handcuff Barnes but was unable to subdue him and that’s when Officer Kubler used the stun gun three times.

Now Barnes is at Bayfront Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.