10/1/2014

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University Place man dies after being tased by deputies

University Place man dies after being tased by deputies
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. -- Neighbors who live near Ron Hillstrom say they knew something was not right early Monday morning.

It appeared Hillstrom was having some sort of episode in the parking lot of their University Place apartment complex. Neighbor Ashley Patterson said he was walking around in a circle asking for help.

"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 said.

She said officers continued to tase him, and once they had him on the ground an officer used a flashlight to strike Hillstrom several times. Multiple residents told KOMO 4 a similar story, and several people also shot video of the incident on their cell phones.

Hillstrom died soon after being subdued. Witnesses say they saw him with a screw driver in one hand, but say he didn't use it to threaten law enforcement.

"Without seeing the whole entire incident in context, you're not going to know why that was happening. 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," said Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

Troyer claims the Pierce County Medical Examiner found no blows to Hillstrom's head. However, the Medical Examiner's Office said the autopsy is not complete.
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