TAMAQUA, Pa. - A Schuylkill County man died after police used a taser gun on him. Now, Pennsylvania State Police are investigating and the man's family is demanding answers.
It all happened at Fegley's Mini-Mart on Center Street in Tamaqua. The victim, Jose Paulino, Jr., 38, died in an ambulance on the way to St. Luke's Hospital in Coaldale, according to State Police spokesman Trooper David Beohm.
The State Police Major Crimes Unit is investigating. The Schuylkill County District Attorney will eventually determine if officers acted appropriately.
Boehm said the incident began around 4:00 Friday morning. He said officers from Tamaqua and two other departments responded after Paulino began a commotion in the parking lot.
"Running around, yelling obscenities, and the employee of the market and a bystander called 911," said Beohm.
Paulino was unarmed, but he wouldn't comply with officers, so they stunned with several times with a taser gun, according to State Police. An official autopsy won't happen until Saturday.
"I don't know if he went into cardiac arrest or what happened," said Beohm. "The autopsy is generally going to be able to tell us, was he under the influence of something? What was going on with him that could create this condition?"
Paulino had a criminal history. Court records reveal he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct involving fighting in 2012. Two years earlier, Paulino pleaded guilty to a theft charge. His most serious brush with the law came in 2012, when Norristown Police charged Paulino and a woman with trying to lure children into their car. The most serious charges of stalking and child luring were later dropped.
Now, Paulino's wife is demanding answers.
"I know my husband didn't deserve to die. He was a father and an amazing person," she wrote to 69 News Friday night. "He was my everything; he loved life and would help anyone in need. He didn't deserve this."
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