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Suspected Shoplifter Stunned With Taser

Suspect Subdued With Stun Gun

Authorities investigate after police deployed a taser on a man suspected of retail theft early Wednesday. (Photo from Network Video Productions)

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Updated 05/07/14 – 6:45 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – A suspected shoplifter was seriously injured after police used a stun gun to subdue him in the Old Town neighborhood early Wednesday.

CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports the man allegedly stole a couple items from the Walgreens store at the corner of North Avenue and Wells Street around 12:15 a.m.

Witnesses called police, and when police officers and store security guards caught up with the thief, he resisted arrest and began to run away, police said.

That’s when police deployed a Taser to subdue him. The man hit a light pole and fell to the ground. Witnesses said the man’s head struck the pole with such force, it sounded like a gunshot.

“It was a gentleman laying in the middle of the street. I thought he had got shot. He was bleeding profusely from his head, and the ambulance was not around. It took them a long time to get here,” Bobby Mason said. “The police apparently didn’t do any kind of means of trying to help this man.”

Witnesses said it took more than 10 minutes for an ambulance to arrive and for paramedics to begin chest compressions in an attempt to revive him. Witnesses said the suspect never appeared to regain consciousness at the scene.

The suspect was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Sources said the 23-year-old man was in extremely bad shape, and might not survive.

An autopsy for the man Wednesday was inconclusive.

The Independent Police Review Authority was investigating the incident.

Sources said the suspect was wanted on an arrest warrant for an outstanding parole violation at the time.