Father of 5 Dies in Custody After Deputies Use Taser

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said the man was being "uncooperative and combative"

Family members on Wednesday mourned the loss of a father of five and a beloved newspaper pressman who died while in police custody after deputies used a Taser stun gun on him.

Dante Parker, 36, was suspected of trying to break into a home in the 13000 block of Bucknell Court in Victorville on Tuesday afternoon when he was shocked with a Taser by deputies during a struggle to take him into custody, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

"We do everything together, as a family," said his sister Youree Stewart. "He's a big part of our family. He's really going to be missed."

Sheriff's deputies found Parker riding a bicycle away from the residence and tried to stop him, but he appeared to be under the influence of unknown substances and became "uncooperative and combative," officials said.

Parker allegedly fought with a female deputy and left bruises on her arms. The deputy used a Taser on Parker "multiple times" during a struggle, officials said.

A second deputy helped handcuff Parker and place him in the backseat of a patrol unit, when they saw that he was sweating and breathing heavily, authorities said.

Parker died at a hospital, two days before his 37th birthday.

Parker worked in the pressroom of the Victorville Daily Press.

"Dante was a good man, a family man who just wanted to provide the best he could for his wife and kids," said his boss, Harry Pontius, in a statement. "He'll be extremely missed."

He leaves behind a wife, four daughters and a son.

Family members said Parker was not a criminal and didn't deserve to die this way.

Stewart said he "minds his own business" and goes to work every day. 

"He was a big, gentle guy," said his father Darrell Parker. "So I don't understand it. I'm at a loss for words. I miss him already."

The Riverside County Coroner's Office will conduct the autopsy to determine the cause of Parker's death. 

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