Suspect Dies after Attempt to Swallow Bag of Pot, FDLE Investigates

By: Meredith TerHaar Email
By: Meredith TerHaar Email

Panama City Beach- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the death of a local man who died while Bay County Sheriff's deputies were trying to arrest him. The death of 23-year-old Andrew Grande is devastating for his friends and family. But it was also traumatic for the deputies and the camera crew riding along with them as the responded to a disturbance call early Friday morning.

Just after 2AM Friday deputies responded to a disturbance call at the Executive Inn on front beach road. They say Grande pushed a female friend. A camera crew from Zoo Productions filmed what happened when deputies arrived. When one of the deputies tried to arrest him they say he resisted and stuffed something in his mouth. That's when at least one of the deputies shot him with a taser. They say he pulled the taser probes out of his body, that's when deputies noticed he was choking.

Deputies performed the Hiemlich maneuver but could not dislodge the item. By the time EMS arrived, he was unconscious. One of the paramedics pulled a large bag of marijuana from his throat. He was pronounced dead at Bay Medical Center. "It's a tragic situation for our officers, a tragic situation for this young man and his family. What started out to be a simple disturbance call, could have been handled by compliance by this individual, simply giving the officers the marijuana," explained Sheriff Frank McKeithen.

Had he done that Grande would have most likely faced misdemeanor charges. "Instead he pretty much ended up taking his own life by ingesting this item that was stuck in his throat. He therefore, in front of these deputies, dies and there is nothing they can do. It's a horrible situation for them, a horrible situation for us and a horrible situation for his family," said McKeithen All three of the deputies who responded are now on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.


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  • by me Location: here on Feb 5, 2012 at 06:50 AM
    ... has there ever been a moment of restraint on tazers... omg he put something in his mouth.... TAZE HIM.... wtf did you think it was instaroids????
  • by Dave Location: Marianna on Oct 27, 2011 at 06:59 AM
    Hurray! Another one the taxpayers won't have to support.
  • by Jasper Location: Bonifay on May 15, 2011 at 06:10 PM
    He choked to death on a bag of pot. Why didn't you try to pull it out of his throat instead of waiting for the paramedics ? If the parsmedic could pull out the bag, why couldn't yall ? I know, you didn't try thats why .If it would have been one of yalls sons yall would have done better than what yall done for him.
  • by Bryan Location: Indiana on Aug 16, 2010 at 11:58 AM
    What a horrible way to die. And for people to say thyat he was a bad person without even knowing him is sick. Everyone on this earth makes mistakes but most are just not caught. I know several people who knew Andrew and they all said the same thing about him, he was a sweet guy who was funny, tender-hearted and would do anything to help you out. Give his poor family a break and let him rest in peace. I wonder what makes so many people think that they are GOD?
  • by Kathie Location: Ashford,Alabama on Jan 3, 2010 at 07:35 AM
    I am Andrew's mother and first I want to tell you that one 4 minute video does not sum up what a person is all about! My son was a very loving and giving person, he made mistakes yes (who hasn't) and for all you low lifes to write such nasty things about my son I bet you done worse then he ever did! And to Meredith if only you knew how much this has hurt the family and friends of Andrew for you to make a show of his last 4 minutes of life why don't you contact me so you can know the real Andrew the one that would do anything for anyone to make their life happier, the one that Loved his family more than life itself. You will one day see how it feels to have someone do this to you as I beleive what comes around goes around! May not be the same scenerio but when it happens you will think of My son and how you did his family and friends wrong by allowing this video! This is a violation of HIPPA and I am gonig to seek justice! From Andrew's Mom
  • by jeremy Location: kennewick wa on Dec 23, 2009 at 03:03 PM
    another reason why marijuana should be legal. if it was then this guy would have never had a reason to try and swallow the bag. sorry for this guy and his family they should sue the police and the county for this and make an example of them.and what about the taser if he wouldn't have been shot with the taser then maybe this wouldn't be on here. I would say that the taser is what made him choke on the bag and the officer should be held responsable for this and be charged with manslaughter. And why the taser to begin with there was three officers and if they cant arrest a guy then maybe they shouldn't be on the force to begin with. i don't know about you but if a guy was going to try and kill me i sure wouldn't want these cops try and stopping him cause i just might die anyways
  • by Dan Location: panama city beach on Dec 18, 2009 at 03:19 PM
    it is really sad when we live in a world where nooone can accept responsibility for their actions. The cops did nothing wrong. If you swallow and plastic bag of weed to avoid arrest then fight the cops then you are defeating the purpose of hiding the drugs and you are a dummy. The cops did not force the drugs downs his throat. Some say he was fighting for his life but the cops were fighting for theirs when he was tased. They didnt know what he has on him so they reacted like they are trained to do. All you that blame it on the cops when you need help who do you call. Im not saying all cops are innocent but these cops are all good cops who were doing there job. Enough said so quit playing the blame game
    • reply
      by Rick on Nov 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM in reply to Dan
      Actually Dan they may have done something wrong. The use of a taser to gain evidence or a confession is considered torture under the Geneva Convention. You think they will accept responsibility for that?
  • by check your eyes again! Location: Panama City on Dec 17, 2009 at 10:36 PM
    We were all told when we were children not to put plastic over our heads or in our mouths because you will sufficate. Second, don't fight the police. If you think your innocent then prove it in court not by fighting or attempting to flee. As far as martin lee anderson every strike performed was a defensive tactic strike approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. If you think law enforcement is so bad in Bay County, next time call a Crack Head when you are in trouble!!!
  • by Mildred Location: Gulf County on Dec 17, 2009 at 12:16 PM
    You might say he was a victim of The Grim Reefer. Drugs are bad.
  • by Can't believe my eyes! on Dec 17, 2009 at 05:59 AM
    First let me start off by saying ANYONE defending the police officers in this crime are complete IDIOTS! This boy died because of half-witted cops trying to show their "authority"! This is just another example of such! This has happened too many times in BAY COUNTY! Does anyone posting remember Martin Lee Anderson? Another young man murdered at the hands of BAY COUNTY COPS! They didn't perform CPR properly or handle the situation properly. Could any of you have watched your own children DIE on tv in this situation? All of you putting the blame on Andrew are hypocrites as I am sure at one time or another ALL of you have been in a situation where you have avoided trouble with the crooked laws as well! To Ronnie Hayes THANK YOU for your comments! And EVERYONE else don't try to be a holy rolling fool to say he did this to his self GOD BLESS! God has his eyes on you too! RIP Andrew! I am sure your family will find a good attorney to stand up for this unnecessary death!
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