Mentally Ill Grandpa's 'Pepper Spray Death' Is More Tragic Than We Thought (VIDEO)

nick christieWhat supposedly happened to 62-year-old grandfather Nick Christie never should have happened, period. There is no possible excuse. But what makes his untimely death even more tragic is that his wife tried so hard to keep it from happening. She did everything right, sought help from the appropriate authorities, and still Nick Christie died.

At the hands of the people who were supposed to be looking out for him.

Joyce Christie was nervous about her husband making the trip from Ohio to Florida to visit his brother because the retired boilermaker wasn't in the best of health: He suffered from heart disease and emphysema, and was being treated for mental illness. Worse, since his doctor had recently moved away, no one was monitoring his medications.

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So Joyce's nerves were justified. She knew there was a good chance Nick would have some kind of manic episode while he was away.

That's why she called Lee County police a reported 25 times explaining his medical condition when he was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct (in fact, Nick was probably just in a state of extreme confusion). She says she even called her local police station, begging them to call the cops in Florida and ask them to watch out for Nick.

Nick was released, but two days later, he was arrested again, this time for trespassing at the hotel where he was staying. (Thought to be a mistake resulting from another confused, manic episode.)

The Lee County police should have known exactly what was going on, but they didn't according to Joyce Christie's version of events. For some reason, police say, medical records from his stay earlier that week "weren't readily available."

Declaring him "combative," the police strapped the grandfather naked into what's known as the "Devil's Chair," covered his face with a "spit hood," and proceeded to pepper spray Christie repeatedly, according to a report on NBC. Over a 43-hour time span, he was allegedly pepper-sprayed approximately 10 times.

The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide. How does one die after getting pepper-sprayed repeatedly? Let's put it this way: When Christie was taken to the hospital in respiratory distress (apparently pepper spray isn't the best thing to force someone with emphysema to inhale for hours), his body was so toxic doctors couldn't get anywhere near him before they neutralized him with milk and other substances. That's right, the doctors literally couldn't touch his skin.

Not surprisingly, they couldn't save him. Christie suffered several heart attacks before his tortured body gave out for good a couple of days later.

Can you imagine what a horrible way to die that must have been? Again, at the hands of the people who were supposed to be protecting him.

People who might just end up getting away with (alleged) murder. Though Christie died in 2009, no one has been charged with his death as of yet (interesting that security camera footage of the ordeal mysteriously vanished ... though a photo of Nick strapped to the chair did recently surface).

Joyce and her family are filing a wrongful death suit against the Lee County Sheriff's Department, but of course nothing will ever bring Nick back. And of course nothing will ever erase that horrible image of her dying husband from Joyce's mind.

Joyce, who did everything she could to prevent that death from happening ...

Do you think the people responsible for Nick Christie's death will ever be brought to justice?

Image via MSNBC

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