Gaithersburg man’s death investigated after police use taser on him

UPDATE – Sunday – 4/21/2013, 12:10 p.m. ET

Police say the identity of the man killed in the tasing incident is Anthony Howard.

Earlier – Saturday – 4/20/2013, 3:18 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON – The death of a Gaithersburg, Md., man is under investigation after he stopped breathing soon after local police used a taser to restrain him after the man was seen swearing and throwing rocks at vehicles, according to Montgomery County police.

The identity of the 51-year-old man will be released after family members have been notified, police say.

Montgomery County police were called to the 8800 block of Cross Country Place just after 6 p.m. for a report of a man acting strangely.

The caller told to the 911 that an man in his 30’s was standing in a parked pick- up truck. The caller reported that the man was yelling profanities, striking the truck with rocks and crawling on other vehicles.

When the first officer arrived, he found the man in the bed of the truck. He then left the pick-up truck and jumped to the roof of an SUV next to the truck. The officer ordered the man down from the SUV and he jumped off but continued to act aggressively, according to police.

After the the man did not comply with the officer’s instructions, the officer used pepper spray and the man ran away. He then picked up and dropped a potted plant and a landscaping rock, said police in a statement.

The man then approached the front door of a nearby home. He picked up a child’s scooter and used it to strike the front door of the residence. Additional officers arrived at the scene and ordered him off the home’s front porch.

“Two officers approached the subject and deployed tasers while he was on the front porch of this residence,” says Montgomery County Police Captain Paul Starks.

Additional officers restrained the man with handcuffs but noticed he was not breathing. They requested Fire and Rescue backup and began administering CPR.

“The man was transported to Shady Grove, where he was pronounced dead by medical personnel there,” Starks says.

The five officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave, which Starks says is standard procedure when an officer is involved in an traumatic event.

Detectives have been interviewing witnesses and ask that anyone who witnessed this the incident to call the Major Crimes Division at (240)773-5070.

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