YouTuber Tased To Death By Massachusetts Police—Was Such Force Necessary?

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source: Insider

A small town in Massachusetts has been thrust into the national spotlight after a 25-year old Youtuber was killed by law enforcement while being taken into custody for attacking his Tinder date.

The 25-year-old man, Erich Stelzer, was a self-proclaimed bodybuilder who showed his fitness process in videos uploaded to YouTube.  He is now dead, after being tased while law enforcement tried to obtain and take him into custody on Thursday evening.

The incident is being reported as having occurred in Cohasset, Massachusetts after law enforcement personnel received a call about a domestic disturbance.  Police arrived at the address to find Stelzer in the process of assaulting a young woman with multiple weapons, including stabbing her repeatedly with a knife. 

Reports indicate that Stelzer appeared to be disoriented, as he yelled: “I am God, you are the Devil” as he repeatedly stabbed the young female.  Reports also indicate that the young woman was Maegan Tapley, someone that Stelzer had met and arranged a meeting with through the wildly popular online dating app Tinder.

In a statement, posted on their Facebook page on Friday, the Cohasset Police Department stated:

“In an effort to rescue the victim and disarm Stelzer, Cohasset Police officers used tasers to subdue Stelzer.  Stelzer was immediately proved medical attention by EMT’s.  During transport to a local area hospital, Stelzer became unresponsive and was later pronounced dead.”

A local tv station, WBZ-TV, reported a source as stating that Stelzer had been known to be suffering from a possible mental health issue, and could very have been in an altered mental state at the time of the attack. Stelzer’s father stated he was unaware of any mental health issues and went on to say that his son was six foot eight and three hundred pounds.  The reports show that the stun gun was used four times on Stelzer, and his father reiterates that the officers used the stun gun in excess.

An autopsy has been scheduled shortly, in an effort to try to surmise why Stelzer acted in the manner in which he did as well as to determine the exact cause of the young man’s death.  As for Stelzer’s victim, she is expected to make a full recovery, but those around her have stated that she will, however, need treatment and time to eventually move past her harrowing ordeal.  As for Stelzer’s dad, he has stated until he gets a more definite answer from police as to what really happened on that fateful night, he was not going to offer any judgments on the events.

Did the police use excessive force as some are saying?