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Danielle Madsley, woman tased by FHP Trooper Daniel Cole, may not live much longer

6:37 AM, May 25, 2013   |    comments
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The Florida Highway Patrol trooper who shot and injured a cemetery owner on September 10, 2012 has been cleared of any wrongdoing by FHP.

Shortly before 6 o'clock on the morning of September 10, 2012, Trooper Daniel Cole was tracking a stolen motorcycle to the Royal Palm North cemetery in Pinellas Park at 2600 Gandy Boulevard North.

The owner of the cemetery, Cliff Work, was there and after he armed himself -- thinking he was being robbed -- Trooper Cole opened fire, shooting 18 rounds from his Smith & Wesson AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. Work was hit in the leg.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also investigated and cleared Cole last fall. As for the stolen motorcycle, it was dumped in a wooded area next to the cemetery and Work had no idea it was there.

But that incident isn't the first time Cole's actions have come under the microscope. In just over a decade, he shot an unarmed minister during a traffic stop as the pastor reached for his own wallet. He also tasered an unarmed teenage girl who was handcuffed.

That incident has left her in a vegetative state.

Her mother, Cheryl Maudsley, is completely stunned that Trooper Cole still has a job with the Florida Highway Patrol. She believes he took her daughter Danielle's life.

She says, "My daughter is going to die because of Officer Cole."

Dash cam video shows the 19-year-old handcuffed and running away from Cole.

He fires his taser at her back and hits her. Danielle's head hits the pavement.

Her mother says, "She was afraid. He had to step back to pull his taser at my child... 50,000 volts went through a 92-pound girl, handcuffed [and] a couple of feet away from him."

Two years later, the photographs show a much different Danielle. Now 21, she is blind, unable to walk, has a feeding tube and wears diapers at a rehabilitation facility in Orlando.

Cheryl says, "At this time, she's not doing well. We recently put a DNR on her, which is 'do not resuscitate.'"

Cheryl says she put the order in just a few days ago and knows any day now she could get a phone call that her daughter is gone.

She adds, "Dear Lord knows it just breaks my heart. I wonder how he [Trooper Cole] would feel if it was one of his children, his mother, his sister. Him. You're not above the law, because you have a badge."

10 News stopped by Trooper Cole's home on Friday as we have several times before to get his side of the story, but this time his cruiser wasn't parked in his driveway and though it appeared someone was inside, no one answered the door.

But in audio published by the FHP and posted on YouTube, an investigator can be heard questioning Trooper Cole. While the video clearly shows Danielle is barely a step ahead of him as they leave the FHP substation in Pinellas Park on U.S. 19, he's already had time to pull and point his taser.

He tells the investigator that Danielle would have gotten away. The investigator asks, "Did you think she was capable of outrunning you?"

Cole replies, "Yes, she was already outrunning me."

WTSP-TV

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