A Daily Press employee died Tuesday night while in the custody of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies after having been repeatedly stunned with a Taser.
In a detailed press release on Wednesday, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department stated that Dante Parker was considered a suspect in the attempted burglary of a home.
According to the Daily Press, at around 5 p.m., after the reported breaking-and-entering attempt, a deputy from the Victorville Station stopped the 36-year-old man as he was riding his bike.
The resident who called the deputies had told them the suspect fled on a bicycle.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, the deputy was “involved in a struggle” to detain Parker, who appeared “to possibly be under the influence of an unknown substance.”
Sheriff’s officials said that Parker became uncooperative and combative as the deputy tried to take him into custody. The deputy then reportedly stunned Parker with a Taser multiple times; another deputy arrived several minutes later. The two deputies eventually handcuffed Parker and placed him in the backseat of a patrol unit.
Officials noted that after arresting Parker, the deputies observed him sweating profusely and breathing heavily. Medical aid was requested, and Parker was transported to Victor Valley Global Medical Center via ambulance.
Authorities stated that Parker was conscious but incoherent while receiving medical treatment at the hospital.
Parker died while still receiving treatment.
Even as the Sheriff’s Department announced that its Specialized Investigation Detail is conducting a death investigation, Parker’s friends, family and coworkers are speaking out and presenting a much different version of the deceased man than the police have provided.
“That whole story is totally wrong; that’s just not Dante,” said former Daily Press pressman Richard Loredo, who had worked with Parker. Loredo added that “Dante’s not a burglar…You can see how well his kids were raised; he was a good dad.”
Parker’s co-workers noted that he had stopped drinking earlier this year and, in an effort to lose weight, had been riding his bike for years.
According to NBC Los Angeles, Harris noted that he didn’t believe that Parker would have been committing a crime, as Parker made an honest living and had “everything he wanted and needed.”
Parker is survived by his wife and five children. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause and manner of his death.