Man dies after police use a Taser to subdue him
Published: Monday, January 8, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 7, 2007 at 11:01 p.m.
FORT PIERCE — A 45-year-old Tennessee man died after police used a Taser to subdue him while trying to apply leg restraints in the back of a patrol car.
Officers noticed Douglas John Ilten, a music supply store owner from Nashville, Tenn., was not breathing after they hit him with two bursts of a Taser while trying to restrain him Saturday, acting Fort Pierce Police Chief Sean Baldwin said. The officers tried CPR, but Ilten was pronounced dead a short time later at a local hospital.
Police said Ilten was acting erratically and hurling musical instruments out of a rental truck at a gas station Saturday. Ilten struggled with Fort Pierce officer Hall Solomon, who handcuffed him and put him in the back of a patrol car.
Solomon and officer Scott Ceckanowicz decided to put on leg restraints to search Ilten before taking him to jail. Ilten's struggles intensified, so Ceckanowicz used two bursts from his Taser to subdue him, Baldwin said. The officers noticed he was not breathing moments later.
Ilten's wife, Ann, said her husband was on his way to Fort Lauderdale to deliver musical equipment to a cruise ship.
"I'm angry," Ann Ilten said. "I don't understand why (police) had any reason to approach him in the first place."
Both officers are on administrative leave while authorities investigate the death.
"This is a tragic incident, and my heart is filled with sorrow for this man and his family," Baldwin said. "Both officers are extremely upset."
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