A sleepy town in Massachusetts is in the headlines after a 25-year-old man died while being arrested for viciously attacking his Tinder date.
Erich Stelzer, 25, a bodybuilder who shared fitness videos on YouTube, died in custody after he was tased by police in Cohasset, Mass. The incident took place Thursday evening after Cohasset police received a call about a disturbance and arrived to find Stelzer assaulting a 24-year-old woman with weapons, including a knife.
Boston 25 News has confirmed the female victim, identified as Maegan Tapley, is a woman Steltzer met on Tinder, a popular dating app. Tapley sustained extensive stab and slash wounds but was able to escape from Steltzer when police arrived. It was then that police tased Steltzer in an attempt to control him.
“In an effort to rescue the victim and disarm Stelzer, Cohasset Police officers used Tasers to subdue Stelzer,” the Cohasset Police Department said in a statement posted on Facebook Friday. “Stelzer was immediately provided medical attention by EMTs. During transport to a local area hospital, Stelzer became unresponsive and was later pronounced dead.”
A source told WBZ-TV that Stelzer may have been suffering from a “possible mental health issue,” or may have been in an “altered mental state” during the alleged attack.
Stelzer’s father, Harold, told Boston’s NBC affiliate that his son was 6-foot-8 and 300 pounds, and that a stun gun was used four times, which he called “excessive.” WBZ previously reported officers tased Erich Stelzer six times.
“My son was in that house healthy, and 15 minutes later, he’s dead,” Harold Stelzer told NBC. “I want to apologize to the girl who was assaulted, but until I find out from the police what happened, I’m not making any judgments.”
An autopsy will be conducted shortly to determine the exact cause of Erich Stelzer’s death, police said.
As for Tapley, her mother told NBC 10 that she is expected to fully recover but will need treatment and time.
“She’s going to mend; she’s going to be alright,” Susan Tapley said. “It’s going to take time to recover. She’ll need plastic surgery and an eye specialist.”