The four officers were finally able to subdue and arrest Nossoughi. They said he was conscious and alert. An ambulance took him to a hospital, and a Battlefield police officer rode along. One deputy also was treated at a hospital for injuries that Nossoughi caused during his arrest.
At the hospital, less than two hours after the Battlefield officer called for help, Nossoughi died at the hospital.
Assistant Medical Examiner Tom Van De Berg says the autopsy found only superficial bruises and no other injuries on Nossoughi’s body. Medical examiner Dr. Carl Stacy said the high body temperature alone could have killed Nossoughi by itself.
In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Stacy said he found some burns from the stun guns on Noussoughi’s back and sides but says they weren’t close enough to his heart to contribute to his death. Stacy said he has concluded the use of stun guns have contributed to some suspects’ deaths but not this one.
Van De Berg says the use of illegal and synthetic drugs, like those found in Nossoughi’s system, is known to cause bizarre behavior, such as taking off clothes. He says a person in that state “disconnects his pain response,” so the pepper spray and the electric shocks would have had no effect on him. Van De Berg says Nossoughi likely had no sensation of pain.
In the telephone interview from Columbia, where he works at University of Missouri Medical Center, Stacy said the illegal use of bath salts and plant food is often tragic. He said he’d like to help with a public education campaign to convince people of their dangers.
The Missouri Legislature has made attempts in its last two sessions to outlaw the sale in stores of such products, which were marketed in some stores as K2, Spice and other names. Stacy says the products are widely available on the Internet, however, including from sources in Asia.
Stacy said the autopsy was thorough. Nossoughi’s heart was sent to Washington, D.C., to be examined by a cardiovascular specialist. He said an internationally known neuropathologist in Columbia examined Nossoughi’s brain.
The autopsy report from Stacy in Columbia just arrived in Van De Berg’s office in Springfield on Monday. Van De Berg says he immediately sent it to the sheriff's department and the prosecuting attorney's office.
Sheriff Jim Arnott placed the two deputies on administrative leave for several days, a routine practice after deputies use force that causes severe injury or death to a suspect or arrested person. Arnott also asked the Missouri State Highway Patrol to shadow his department’s investigation.
Arnott’s office had not responded to a request for comment on Wednesday afternoon about the autopsy report or whether the investigation showed the deputies followed proper departmental procedures.