A 71-year-old Belfast man died at Waldo County General Hospital on Saturday after being Tasered during an altercation with police, Belfast police reported.

About 7:15 p.m. Saturday, police responded to the home of Dennis Ward on Lincolnville Avenue for a domestic incident where Ward had reportedly discharged a firearm several times. Gunshots were heard by the dispatcher who was receiving an emergency call from the residence.

When police arrived, Ward confronted two officers with a pistol in his hand, according to Belfast Police Chief Michael McFadden III.

Ward shot the pistol, aiming toward the ground as he approached the officers, ignoring repeated commands to drop the gun.

Ward raised his pistol as he was approaching Officer Benjamin Kolko, according to police.

Sgt. Matthew Cook then Tasered Ward as Kolko fired twice at the 71-year-old man.


Kolko missed, but Ward was immobilized by the Taser and transported to Waldo County General Hospital for observation. He experienced “medical complications” at the hospital and died at 9:30 p.m., according to police.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office was notified, and will conduct an examination. The Attorney General’s Office is reviewing the incident.

No further details were available Monday evening, and police said no new information will be forthcoming until the Attorney General’s review is completed.

A woman who answered the phone at Ward’s residence and who told a reporter she was his wife declined to comment Monday evening.

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