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Pasco Sheriff: Man Dies after Violently Resisting Arrest

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Deputies used Tasers and pepper spray to try to subdue the man, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office says.

PASCO COUNTY – A man who violently resisted arrest died a day later in a local hospital, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

John Sellinger, 34, of Tampa, died Thursday (Dec. 29). Deputies said Tampa police had reported him as a missing and endangered adult. Had he lived, Mr. Sellinger would have faced charges of attempted homicide, battery on a law enforcement officer, one attempted carjacking, two attempted auto thefts, and resisting arrest with violence. Deputies said he had been involved with several hit and run incidents in Hillsborough County before being found in Land O’ Lakes.

The cause of death is pending the results of an autopsy and toxicology tests.

Pasco deputies said the first they heard about Mr. Sellinger was about 2:40 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 28) when four different 911 callers reported a reckless driver traveling east on State Road 54 from the Suncoast Parkway. A short time later, another call came in about a suspicious person. That caller described the same vehicle.

Witnesses told deputies there had been an attempted carjacking. The carjacker had also broken the window of another vehicle in an auto theft attempt and had tried to steal a motorcycle from a 70-year-old man, deputies said. The 70 year old pulled out a weapon and pointed it at the suspect, who nearly choked the senior to unconsciousness before several bystanders intervened.

It was at that point that a deputy arrived on scene at 2502 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. (U.S. 41) and saw Mr. Sellinger being chased by those citizens. The deputy also gave chase and ordered Mr. Sellinger to stop. Mr. Sellinger refused to follow any commands.

The deputy said he attempted to detain Mr. Sellinger but he resisted violently. The deputy used his Taser, which had no effect. Mr. Sellinger ran west. He crossed U.S. 41 and then went into a field. Other deputies arrived as back up. The first deputy continued to chase Mr. Sellinger and caught him again in the open field on the southwest corner of U.S. 41 and Morgan Road.

The deputy used his pepper spray, which had no effect. The deputy said he then used his Taser a second time, which was successful in putting Mr. Sellinger on the ground. But Mr. Sellinger was able to pull one of the probes free, which eliminated the connection and disabled the Taser. Other deputies helped hold Mr. Sellinger, who continued to resist and to refuse to obey commands.

After Mr. Sellinger was secured, deputies said they called for fire-rescue paramedics to come to the scene because of Mr. Sellinger’s irrational and violent actions as well as his being exposed to pepper spray. Before the paramedics arrived, Mr. Sellinger became physically distressed. Deputies began CPR and used a defibrillator. Paramedics took over life-saving efforts when they arrived. They took Mr. Sellinger to the hospital where he died Thursday (Dec. 29).

For information about the Pasco sheriff, go to

Pasco Sheriff | Crime | Man Dies | Resisting Arrest | Tampa Bay Reporter

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Pasco Sheriff: Man Dies after Violently Resisting Arrest
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Pasco Sheriff: Man Dies after Violently Resisting Arrest
Deputies used Tasers and pepper spray to try to subdue the man, the Pasco Sheriff's Office says.
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TB Reporter
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