CONROE- A Houston man died Saturday morning after his family called 911 for assistance because of his unusual and physically aggressive behavior, which police say became directed at them when they attempted to restrain him, resulting in the deployment of a Taser device.
Lt. Bill Bucks with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said two deputies and MCHD EMS arrived at the residence in the 6500 block of Golden Oaks Drive just after 7 a.m., where they found 40-year-old Robert Lee Welch who was naked and acting strangely.
His family told officers he would only respond to them physically, by shoving.
As with his family, officials say Welch would not respond to deputies with verbal communication, and when they attempted to restrain him, Welch struggled until they used a Taser device to subdue him. At that point, Bucks said Welch stopped breathing for unknown reasons. Medics then attempted to treat him and discovered he had no pulse.
Welch was transported by ground ambulance to St. Luke’s Hospital in Conroe, where he was pronounced dead.
Bucks said Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Edie Connelly conducted an inquest and ordered the body taken to the Southeast Texas Forensic Center in Conroe for an autopsy.
As of Saturday morning, no information was available regarding whether Welch had a history of medical, psychiatric, or substance abuse problems.
The home is in a subdivision off of SH 242, east of Interstate 45.
As is standard practice, the MCSO Major Crimes Unit, Texas Rangers, and the District Attorney’s Office are investigating the incident.
UPDATE: June 26, 2009
ThMontgomery County Sheriff’s Office issued the following statement on Thursday regarding the death of Robert Lee Welch:
The death investigation into Robert Lee Welch is continuing by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit, The Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Division, The Texas Rangers and the Montgomery County District Attorneys Office.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Welch Family during this trying time and we are doing all we can to conclude this investigation in a thorough and timely manner. The incident is still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Division, Montgomery Co. District Attorneys Office and the Texas Rangers and should be concluded soon.
The Southeast Texas Forensic Center has released the Autopsy Report on Robert Lee Welch listing the cause of death as Atherosclerotic heart disease complicated by diabetes with renal failure associated with a struggle during restraint.