Dad Dies After Deputies Hit Him With Taser
A father of five died after he was involved in an altercation with deputies who suspected him of burglary. The Victorville Daily Press reports that Dante Parker, 36, was suspected of attempting to burglarize a Victorville home on Tuesday afternoon. The person who reported the burglary said the suspect fled on a bicycle and, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's office, Parker was seen riding his bike near the scene. But a former co-worker of Parker's, who worked as a pressman for the Victoria Daily Press, tells the paper his fellow employee wouldn't steal from anybody. "That whole story is totally wrong; that’s just not Dante,” Richard Loredo, a former Daily Press pressman who worked with Parker, said Wednesday. “Dante’s not a burglar ... You can see how well his kids were raised; he was a good dad. For the police department to portray him like that is ... unfair.” NBC Los Angeles reports that, according to authorities, Parker resisted arrest and became "uncooperative and combative," according to police. It was at that point that the female officer trying to apprehend Parker shocked him with a Taser "multiple times," according to a release obtained by the station. A second deputy helped handcuff Parker and place him in the backseat of a patrol unit, when they saw that he was sweating and breathing heavily, authorities said. Parker was taken to a hospital where he died. Family members on Wednesday mourned the loss of a father of five and a beloved newspaper pressman who died while in police custody after deputies used a Taser stun gun on him. "Dante was a good man, a family man who just wanted to provide the best he could for his wife and kids," said his boss, Harry Pontius, in a statement. "He'll be extremely missed." He leaves behind a wife, four daughters and a son. Family members said Parker was not a criminal and didn't deserve to die this way. Stewart said he "minds his own business" and goes to work every day. "He was a big, gentle guy," said his father Darrell Parker. "So I don't understand it. I'm at a loss for words. I miss him already." The Riverside County Coroner's Office will conduct the autopsy to determine the cause of Parker's death. "[Parker] was big, like a defensive end in football,” his cousin Ge’shun Harris told the Press. “I understand that he was big and intimidating, but whoever called the police was wrong, because I don’t believe he was doing such a thing.” The story comes days after Missouri teenager Michael Brown was killed by police in what witnesses said was a clearly unwarranted use of police force. It also comes as the NYPD, in response to another officer-involved death, has announced it will revamp its training program and officers could potentially increase their reliance on Tasers.