Montgomery County Police are investigating the death of a man after two officers used their tasers on him in Gaithersburg. 51-year-old Anthony Howard was caught on camera by residents, displaying bizarre behavior in their neighborhood. Video clips show him climbing on cars and shouting.
Police were called to the scene along Cross County Place around 6:00 p.m. Friday, and the situation quickly escalated. When Howard refused to obey, the responding officer shot him with pepper spray. He retreated but then began throwing objects, including a flower pot and rocks. The officer attempted to use pepper spray for a second time, but was unable. Shortly after, several other officers arrived on scene. Howard had a child's scooter in his hands and refused to drop it. That's when two of the officers deployed their tasers. "As soon as he was cuffed, they determined he was having trouble breathing or wasn't breathing at all. Fire Rescue was summoned and they performed CPR," says Montgomery County Police Captain Paul Starks.
Howard was later pronounced dead at the hospital. The cause of death is yet to be determined. "We're going to wait and see what kind of condition he was in prior to police getting there and what kind of affect the taser may have had on him, but that's up to the medical examiner," says Starks. The five police officers involved in the incident have been placed on routine administrative leave.