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Man Tased by deputies dies in custody in Baltimore County

A Baltimore man who led police on a car chase from Joppa to Perry Hall died late Wednesday after he was stunned with Tasers by Harford County sheriff's deputies, police said.

The deputies used Tasers on 30-year-old Arvel Douglas Williams "in an effort to safely place [him] under arrest," Baltimore County Police said Thursday.

Williams was in handcuffs, police said, when he "suddenly began to have a medical emergency."

Police removed the handcuffs, rendered first aid and called paramedics, they said. William was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 9 p.m.

Police said Williams had cocaine on his face and on the inside of his truck. They said preliminary evidence indicated he might have ingested the drug.

The incident began shortly after 8 p.m. in Joppa, where Harford County sheriff's deputies were investigating suspicious activity in the area of Mountain Road and Philadelphia Road, police said.

They attempted to stop Williams' red Ford Ranger pickup truck when he drove off, police said, leading them west on Philadelphia Road into Baltimore County and north onto Cowenton Avenue.

Baltimore County patrol officers were notified, police said. Williams drove across the median at the intersection of Cowenton Avenue and East Joppa road in Perry Hall and crashed into a county cruiser, disabling both his own truck and the police car, police said.

No officers were injured in the incident, police said. Deputies involved were placed on routine administrative leave; their names were not released.

Police did not say how many deputies used Tasers, or how many times Williams was stunned. Baltimore County homicide detectives are investigating. Williams' body was to be taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

Williams lived in the Pigtown neighborhood of Baltimore. His family could not be reached for comment.

The incident followed a separate use of Tasers in Baltimore on Wednesday. In that case, residents accused police of using a Taser on a woman holding a baby in the Gilmor Homes housing project.

Baltimore police denied Tasing the woman while the baby was in her arms and said they are investigating the incident.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jessica Anderson contributed to this article.

cwells@baltsun.com

twitter.com/cwellssun

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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