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Family shocked at man's death

March 28, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD and ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY

The Washington County Sheriff's Department awaiting autopsy results to determine why a man died Friday night nearly 90 minutes after a struggle with deputies, Lt. Mark Knight said.

Theodore Paul Rosenberry Jr., 35, of Hagerstown, was pronounced dead at Washington County Hospital on Friday just before 11 p.m.

His father, Theodore Rosenberry Sr. of Clear Spring, said Monday that his son's death was a shock for the family, including Rosenberry's 14-year-old daughter, Kayla.

"A big, healthy man just goes unconscious, and it puzzles me," Rosenberry said. "We're just confused about his death."

But he said his family does not blame the police for his son's death.

"We just have some questions, that's all," he said.

On Friday about 9:40 p.m., two deputies and two Maryland State Police troopers approached Rosenberry, who was walking on U.S. 40 in the area of Burkholder Lane. Officers said he matched the description of a man suspected of burglarizing Blaine Window and Hardware, at 12421 McDade Road, 10 minutes earlier, police said.

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Knight said Monday that deputies since have found no forced entry into the hardware store. Nothing was missing from the store.

When Rosenberry was approached, he ran across U.S. 40 and fell down, Knight said. Rosenberry allegedly was uncooperative, and officers had to struggle with him to get him in handcuffs, Knight said.

When the officers went to get him off the ground, Rosenberry was unconscious, according to a press release.

Knight said that the two deputies involved have been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Theodore Rosenberry Sr. described his son as a "big teddy bear."

"He was one of those guys that did a lot of laughing," he said. "He didn't say much, but he did a lot of laughing."

He said autopsy results were expected within one month.

"As far as I know, he was a healthy person," Rosenberry said.

His son had no prior health conditions or illnesses that could have caused him to collapse, Rosenberry said.

His son was a tractor-trailer driver who traveled mainly on day trips. He liked to fish and hunt.

"We spent a lot of time together hunting," Rosenberry said. "We always looked forward to that."

Rosenberry said he was comforted that his son recently had accepted Jesus Christ into his life.

"That gives me comfort to believe he is in heaven today," he said.

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