The mother who beat her three-year-old son while allegedly high on 'bath salts' was photographed running naked through the street - moments before police used a Taser to subdue her.
Pamela McCarthy, 35, went into cardiac arrest after the struggle with state troopers outside her apartment in Munnsville, New York on Tuesday. She later died in hospital.
The shocking photograph, taken by a neighbour, shows McCarthy running towards the child as he clings to his father in fear.
Neighbours had called police at 7.45 p.m. to say the woman was punching and choking her son, attacking neighbours and strangling one of her dogs.
Out of control: Pamela McCarthy runs naked in the street after 'taking bath salts' and beating her son, who is pictured clinging to his father. Police used a Taser to subdue her and she later died
The woman's boyfriend, Jason Williams, told WSYR he saw her running naked outside their apartment and ran to grab their son, who McCarthy had been beating and trying to strip.
In a recent spate of violent attacks across the country, alleged users of 'bath salts' have taken off their clothes, claiming the illegal synthetic drug causes them to burn up.
As state troopers responded to the scene, other neighbours called to report she was becoming increasingly violent.
One neighbour told WSYR: 'She was... just running back and forth around the street
and she got a hold of one of her dogs and she was rolling around on the ground with her legs wrapped around it - she was strangling the dog.'
Another said: 'She was definitely on something. Who does that?'
When officers arrived at the scene, they found McCarthy was 'violently combative' and apparently under the influence of the drug, police said.
'High': McCarthy, left, allegedly punched and choked her three-year-old son before attacking neighbours and strangling her dog. Her boyfriend Jason Williams, right, grabbed the boy and ran
Scene: When McCarthy resisted police outside her home in Munnsville, New York, they used a Taser
Troopers said the woman growled at them as they approached her and claimed she tried to bite one of the officers.
When trooper Christopher Budlong tried to arrest McCarthy, she resisted. In an attempt to subdue her, he used his police-issued pepper spray, but to no effect.
He then deployed his Taser and was able to handcuff her. After she was taken into custody, she went into apparent cardiac arrest, police said. She was taken to hospital but later died.
Williams said she had a history of drug abuse but was stunned to see her behaviour.
'I told her mom, "She needs help",' Williams told WSYR. 'Everyone says to get rid of her because I tell all mean stories. I got nothing good to say. I love her…love her to death…then I seen that.'
Her three-year-old son was taken by ambulance to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse and was treated for minor injuries. He is now with Williams's mother.
Potent: McCarthy had allegedly taken bath salts, an illegal synthetic drug behind a spate of violent attacks
An autopsy on McCarthy will be carried out on Wednesday to determine the cause of the death.
It is just the latest incident involving bath salts, an illegal synthetic drug believed to be behind a recent outbreak of horrifying attacks.
Bath salts, a synthetic amphetamine cocktail known as 'the new LSD', was the believed drug of choice for Rudy Eugene, who he chewed off homeless man Ronald Poppo's face in Miami last month.
A man in Louisiana, Carl Jacquneaux, was arrested when he bit off a piece of his neighbour's cheek, which a friend blamed on bath salts.
And just this week, a man in North Miami allegedly stripped and exposed himself to a three-year-old girl in a park while on the drug.
THE VIOLENT CRIMES 'COMMITTED AFTER BATH SALTS'
'Bath salts' have been implicated in a recent spate of violent attacks across the country:
- 'Miami Cannibal' Rudy Eugene is believed to have taken bath salts before stripping off his clothes and pouncing on a naked homeless man and chewing off 80 per cent of his face. When he refused to stop, Miami-Dade police officers shot him dead.
- Brandon DeLeon, 21, allegedly tried to bite off a police officer’s hand after he was arrested for disturbing customers in a Miami fast food restaurant. He yelled at officers: 'I'm going to eat you.' The police report noted that he 'growled and opened and closed his jaw slamming his teeth like an animal would.'
- Carl Jacquneaux, 43, allegedly bit a chunk out of his neighbour's face while on the drug before going to another neighbour's home in Scott, Louisiana and holding him at knife point.
- Shane Shuyler, 40, allegedly stripped off and laid naked on a park bench in North Miami while under the influence of bath salts. He exposed himself to a three-year-old girl before chasing her and shouting: 'Come here pretty girl, I wanna stick it in you.'