A Washington man died after being tased by police for no reason that was readily apparent.
Ron Hillstrom reportedly appeared to be having an episode in the parking lot of his University Place apartment complex early Monday morning, according to neighbor Ashley Patterson.
Hillstrom was walking around in a circle, asking for help. Then the police arrived.
"I see four officers walking up on him and they're like, 'It's the police,' and he's like 'You're not the police', and he goes to run in the circle and as soon as he comes back the police use four tasers at one time," Patterson told Komo News.
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The officers continued to tase him, she said, even after he was on the ground. One also allegedly used a flashlight to strike him several times.
Other residents of the apartment complex tell the same story. Some even got footage of the assault on their phones.
"He didn’t think we were the real police, and he charged one of our deputies," sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer told The News Tribune. "He was out of control, fighting and biting our deputies."
The Associated Press reports that the 44-year-old died at Tacoma General Hospital soon after.
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Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said that the officers are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
"Without seeing the whole entire incident in context, you're not going to know why that was happening,” Troyer said in the officers’ defense.
“They, officers all that were there, are all on paid administrative leave while we review it and look into it and determine what happened. Whether there's a way we could do it better or if somebody did something that wasn't appropriate.”
While Troyer claims the Pierce County Medical Examiner found that the victim has suffered no blows to the head, the office told news sources that the autopsy is not yet complete.