Texas Rangers investigating after suspect dies during traffic stop

Texas Rangers investigating after suspect dies during traffic stop

From the Tyler County Sheriff's Office

TYLER COUNTY, TX - On June 1, 2016, at approximately 8:25pm, Tyler County Deputies conducted a traffic stop on FM 92 near FM 1746 in the Town Bluff Area.

Deputies stopped a 2002 passenger car for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop deputies were able to identify the driver of the motor vehicle as a resident of Woodville. The male passenger provided deputies with a false name and was unable to produce any type of identification. While speaking with the passenger, Deputies noted he exhibited possible signs of being under the influence of some type of narcotic.

As deputies returned to their patrol vehicle in an attempt to ID the male passenger and check for warrants on both occupants of the vehicle, the male passenger exited the vehicle in an attempt to evade deputies on foot. A deputy chased the male passenger on foot into a wooded area as the second deputy detained the driver of the vehicle.

The suspect refused to comply with the deputy's commands and the deputy deployed his Tazer, striking the suspect. The suspect, later identified as Michael Cassell age 41 of Kountze, became unresponsive on scene and deputies performed CPR on Cassell until EMS arrived.

Cassell was transported to the Tyler County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead by Justice of The Peace Trisher Ford. An autopsy was ordered by Judge Ford regarding Cassell's cause of death.

It was later determined that Cassell had multiple outstanding felony warrants for his Arrest out of Sabine County and was in possession of illegal narcotics. The Texas Rangers were contacted and are investigating the incident.