Hagerstown Family Wants Answers Following Death Of Relative Following Struggle With WV State Troopers

They says Edmond Exline was mentally ill.

Hagerstown, Md (KM) The family of a Hagerstown man who died after a struggle with West Virginia State Troopers along Interstate 81 near Martinsburg earlier this month is grieving. Sarah Hartman is the sister-in-law of Edmund Exline. She says she’s feeling “a little confused, a little upset. I know my husband is not taking it very well at all. The family is really upset and we want answers.”

Hartman spoke about her feelings during an interview on WFMD”s “Four State Focus.”

Hartman says Edmund Exline was mentally ill, but wasn’t a drug user. “Eddie was a good guy when he wasn’t suffering this disease. He was medicated. He wouldn’t hurt nobody He wouldn’t try to go out of his way. He was scared for his life. He wasn’t a drug addict. He was scared to put anything foreign in his body,”: she says.

On Saturday, February 11th, at around 9:15 PM, West Virginia State Police say a trooper responded to I-81 north of the North Queen Street exit near Martinsburg for a man walking south on the highway. The trooper found Exline and a struggle occurred as efforts were made to place him in a patrol car. He then became unresponsive while in the car. Exline was taken to Berkeley Medical Center where he died. Sunday night  February 12th.  . An investigation is underway.

Hartman said she and her family were informed about Exline’s death by Maryland State Police and were told who to contact with the West Virginia State Police. She said she was told that three troopers struggled with Exline to get him into the patrol car. “All three officers struggled to get him into handcuffs. At that time, Eddie said ‘I didn’t grab your gun. I didn’t grab your taser. Why are you doing this? Why are you doing this? Why are you doing this,'” she said.

“This family has been plagued with this mental illness,” Hartman said. “And it’s time that people, our society, sees that just become someone suffers a mental illness does not mean that they deserve to die, or they deserve to be mistreated.”

Exline suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

She also said people with mental illness are not bad people. “My hope is that families that are plagued with this, or have a family members that suffers this, or have been diagnosed with this, our society understands that they’re still good people. They’re just not mentally right,” Hartman said.

By Kevin McManus