Arundel police probe death

Man who died in custody had served 4 1/2 years for assault on two officers in Georgia

December 30, 2006|By BRADLEY OLSON | BRADLEY OLSON,Sun Reporter

A Pasadena man who died Wednesday while being restrained by Anne Arundel County police had recently served 4 1/2 years in prison in Georgia for attacking two police officers and striking one with a stolen car, according to court records.

County police said yesterday that an autopsy showed no sign of trauma on the body of Steven Ray Ellison, 24. The medical examiner had yet to determine the cause of death, pending toxicology test results, police said.

Ellison was allegedly delusional and assaulted four people in the 400 block of Center St. in Pasadena before an officer arrived about 11 p.m. They struggled, and a total of six officers were needed to subdue and handcuff him, police said, after which Ellison stopped breathing and never regained consciousness.

Homicide detectives and the state's attorney's office are investigating.

Lt. David Waltemeyer, a county police spokesman, said the first officer to arrive has been put on administrative leave with pay, while the other five have returned to duty.

Since he was 17, Ellison - who friends said had mental problems - has run into trouble with the law, court records show.

On May 23, 2000, he assaulted two police officers in Glynn County, Ga., breaking one's finger and punching and spitting on another, and driving the stolen Dodge Stratus into one of them, according to charging documents.

Before he began his five-year Georgia prison term in November of that year, he was charged in Maryland with several counts of burglary, theft and illegal possession of firearms.

Ten days after his May 22, 2005, release in Georgia, Ellison returned to Maryland and attacked someone with a cane. He was sentenced in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in September 2005 to a year in prison.

In June, he was charged with another assault, and last month received a one-year suspended sentence. As a condition of his probation, he was required to follow the recommendations of a psychiatric evaluation.

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