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Man dies after exorcism attempt on 3-year-old

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Elias C. Arnold

The Arizona Republic

A 3-year-old girl is recovering at a Valley hospital after police reportedly found her grandfather choking her during an exorcism.

A struggle ensued, officers subdued the man with a Taser and he later died at a hospital, police said.

Police reportedly found Ronald Marquez, 48, of Phoenix, shirtless and choking his granddaughter early Saturday as her 19-year-old mother, naked and bloody, looked on. The bloodied girl was gasping and screaming as her mother chanted and held a religious picture of some kind, police said.

"It's very bizarre, (a) very unusual and pretty horrific situation this young child was involved in," said Sgt. Joel Tranter, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Police responded about 7:30 a.m. Saturday to a check welfare call at a house in the 2200 block of North 28th Street

A relative reported she thought an exorcism was going on at the family home after one was performed two days earlier, police said.

Police said officers heard yelling from outside the house, gained entry through a back door and rushed to a bedroom.

Two officers forced the door open slightly to find Marquez sitting on a bed blocking the door, police said.

The man held the girl in a headlock with one arm as he squeezing her torso with his other arm, causing her to gasp and scream, police said.

Investigators later learned the man was trying to "squeeze the demons out of the young girl," Tranter said.

One officer made his way into the room, confronted Marquez and touched him with a Taser to no effect.

A second officer followed, where they freed the girl and handed her out the door to a family member.

An officer touched Marquez with the Taser a second time and eventually handcuffed him, police said.

Marquez soon developed shortness of breath and officers performed CPR until medical crews arrived. He was pronounced dead at the hospital

Police are investigating the incident. Autopsy results are not expected for several weeks, Tranter said.

Tranter declined to identify the girl's mother because she was not arrested. The girl also was not identified.

The girl is expected to recover physically and police are investigating "other possible abuses," Tranter said. He declined to specify the nature of the possible abuses.


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Sick mofos.


Event Date

Service Center : California Service Center

CIS Office : San Francisco CA

Date Filed : 2008-06-11

NOA Date : 2008-06-18

Bio. Appt. : 2008-07-08

Citizenship Interview

USCIS San Francisco Field Office

Wednesday, September 10,2008

Time 2:35PM

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