• Police: Reckless driver dies after being shocked by Taser after crash


    ST. CLOUD, Fla. - A reckless driver in St. Cloud died Wednesday after police shocked him with a Taser, authorities said.

    Authorities said Gerald Altomare crashed into a fence near Jeffries Elementary School Wednesday morning near Fifth Street and Dakota Avenue.

    Police said they found the wrecked pickup truck about 6 a.m. after someone called 911.

    Authorities said they found the Altomare a few blocks away near the St. Cloud Church of God.

    Several officers approached Altomare and said he appeared intoxicated. Police said he put up his fists and was ready to fight them, so they shocked him with a Taser.

    "He took a fighting stance, motioned he wanted to fight the officers.  He squared off.  At that point, he was given several orders to surrender.  However, he refused and at that point he was Tased," said Sgt. Denise Roberts of the St. Cloud Police Department.

    Police said Altomare continued to struggle as they cuffed him. He then passed out and was rushed to St. Cloud Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

    Altomare’s neighbors said they wonder why police used the Taser in the first place.

     “I don't believe he was armed, so I don't know why they used the Taser,” said neighbor Christian Garcia. “They could just hold him down and cuff him."

    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the death. The officer who fired the Taser is now on paid leave.

    An autopsy will be used to find out exactly how Altomare died.

    Next Up: