Family seeks details in death

An investigation is underway after a man was hospitalized, then died, after an interaction with police due to his erratic behavior.

Charles Todero, 30, died Saturday, nearly two weeks after police were called to a downtown Greenwood street where he was behaving dangerously, according to a news release from the Greenwood Police Department. Callers reported he was trying to be hit by traffic and police said he was walking in and out of traffic at Madison Avenue and Camby Street on May 29.

His family said police used a Taser on him multiple times and is questioning that decision and asking if it was excessive.

Police are not releasing details or the initial report about officers’ interaction with Todero while an internal investigation is underway, Greenwood Police Department assistant chief Matt Fillenwarth said. Police are characterizing Todero’s behavior that day as strange and dangerous.

His family said that they learned from hospital staff that police had used a Taser on the Trafalgar man.

Todero’s family wants information about what led up to the incident, how police responded and what could have been done differently, Charlie Todero’s brother, James Todero, said.

Charlie Todero was taken from the scene in an ambulance and had remained hospitalized since the incident, Fillenwarth said.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy Monday morning. Preliminary results are expected to be available this morning.

“Based upon a review of evidence to date, we are confident the responding officers followed all standard operating procedures in dealing with this matter,” Greenwood police said. “The incident is currently under internal investigation, as is standard practice for the department.”

Charlie Todero was upset and grieving his father’s recent death, James Todero said. He was not using drugs and had no weapons on him, James Todero said.

The family has learned that Charlie was tased multiple times, and that his heart had stopped several times, James Todero said.

Charlie Todero’s organs shut down and he was placed in a medically-induced coma and on a ventilator. For two weeks, his heart would stop repeatedly. Eventually, the family removed life support because his heart kept stopping and had developed an infection, James Todero said. Hospital staff told family that his heart had an electrical pulse problem that was causing it to stop.

The Todero family wants to know how many officers were involved, if in-car or body cameras captured the exchange, what efforts were used before he was tased, how many times he was tased and if there were any witnesses.

“How did this happen?” James Todero said.

Author photo
Michele Holtkamp is editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2774.