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Autistic Man Dies After Being Hit By Taser

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A man with autism is dead after a scuffle with northwest suburban police, who used a Taser gun in a struggle to subdue him.

The man had just bitten his caregiver at a group home in Des Plaines. CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports the Taser was just one way the officers tried to get the victim under control.

Police around the country are now using Taser guns to subdue suspects with electric shocks.

The weapons are supposed to be non-lethal. On Sunday, in the back yard of a Des Plaines home, 30-year-old Hansel Cunningham died moments after police used a Taser and pepper spray to take him down.

“He was extremely combative, completely enraged, wouldn’t listen to reason,” said Des Plaines Police Chief Jim Prandini.

The victim was a resident of a group home for autistic adults. Police came to the house after Cunningham allegedly severely bit his caregiver then, according to officers, went out of control.

The Des Plaines police chief says the fatal incident was “unfortunate.”

“I will certainly review the use of our Taser in this incident. We’ve used it successfully on several other occasions where we haven’t had a problem with it,” Prandini said.

The company that runs the group home said, “we are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our condolences go out to the family of the victim.”

The medical examiner says it may take weeks to determine precisely what killed the man. One theory is that he may have died from the Taser shock combined with prescription drugs he may have been taking.

Illinois State Police are investigating.