Twin Rivers California Police Officer Branche Frederick Smith Arrested, Suspended, And Charged After Multiple Attacks And Taser Weapon Threat – His Victims Were All Handcuffed And Unable To Defend Themselves – One Kicked In The Head While On Floor

June 22, 2012

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – A Twin Rivers police officer accused of assault while on duty was arrested Thursday.

Branche Frederick Smith, Jr., 37, turned himself into Sacramento police after the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office charged him with four counts of misdemeanor assault under the color of authority, Sacramento police Officer Michele Gigante said.

According to district attorney spokesperson Shelly Orio, Smith allegedly assaulted four people on two different dates.

On Sept. 17, 2010, Smith is accused of choking two subjects and threatening a third with a Taser after the three verbally challenged Smith while they were handcuffed to benches in the department. On May 30, 2011, Smith allegedly kicked a handcuffed subject in the head while the subject was on the floor of the Sacramento County Jail, Orio said.

Twin Rivers School District Spokesperson Trinette Marquis said Smith was placed on leave after fellow officers raised concerns about his behavior in January 2012. The concerns were reviewed by police Chief Scott LaCosse, then handed to the Sacramento Police Department for investigation.
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Douchebag Dorchester South Carolina Police Officers Use Taser Weapon On Naked 80 Year Old Woman – Afraid Of Her Cane

June 16, 2012

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA – Don’t tase the nude 80-year-old woman, bro.

Police in Dorchester County, S.C., used a Taser on a nude 80-year-old woman after she allegedly attempted to attack police with her walking stick. WCSC reports that when police answered a complaint of someone making loud noises in the area, they were met by an elderly woman wearing no clothes on her porch, reportedly hitting the steps of her porch with her cane.

According to police, the woman, who spoke “confusingly,” began to swing her cane at the officers when police tried to take it away from the nude woman. As police continued to talk the woman out of swinging her cane at them, another officer used his Taser on the woman’s back. The woman was immediately transported to a nearby medical facility for treatment.

When police investigated the area, they discovered that the woman, a former tenant, had broken three windows at the property after the owner attempted to give the deposit back to the woman.

WCSC reports that no charges were filed against the woman despite the $250 worth of property damage.

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Woman Dies After New York State Police Officer Christopher Budlong Sprays Her With Pepper Spray And Shoots Her With Taser Weapon

June 13, 2012

MUNNSVILLE, NEW YORK - A Madison County woman alleged to be high on drugs is dead after assaulting her child and receiving a Taser shock while she struggled with police.

According to State Police, around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday Troopers were called to an apartment on North Main Street in the Village of Munnsville for a report of a woman assaulting her three-year-old child. While police were responding to scene, they say Madison County 911 dispatchers received several follow-up reports that the woman was punching and choking the child and had started to attack a neighbor.

When police arrived, they say they found 35-year-old Pamela McCarthy apparently under the influence of “bath salts”, an illegal synthetic drug. Police say Trooper Christopher Budlong attempted to arrest McCarthy, who was “violently combative” according to police and resisted attempts to handcuff her. Budlong used his police-issued pepper spray on McCarthy to no effect, so he then deployed his Taser and was able to handcuff McCarthy with the help of rescue personnel.

Police then say that after McCarthy was taken into custody she went into apparent cardiac arrest. She was taken by ambulance to Oneida Healthcare, where she later died.

Police say the child was taken by ambulance to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. He was treated for minor injuries and released to family members.

Troopers say an autopsy is scheduled for today to determine a cause of death, and the Madison County District Attorney’s Office will take the case to a Grand Jury upon completion of the investigation.

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Douchebag Colwyn Pennsylvania Police Officer Trevor Parham Arrested And Charged After Attacking Unarmed Child With His Taser Weapon – Kid Was Cuffed Behind His Back, Shackled, And Cuffed To A Bench – Latter Texted Another Officer “Got Tased In The Cell LOL”

May 17, 2012

COLWYN, PENNSYLVANIA – A police officer from Colwyn Borough, Delaware County, has been arrested after a tasing incident involving a juvenile a few weeks ago.

The Delaware County District Attorney’s office arrested officer Trevor Parham (right) on charges of simple assault and official oppression after taking a juvenile into custody on April 24th.

Parham put a teenager into a holding cell that night and handcuffed the boy’s hands behind his back. His feet were also shackled and cuffed to the leg of the bench where the boy was sitting.

The affidavit says that when the teen began kicking at the cell, Parham tased him.

Parham admitted to detectives that he also texted a fellow officer saying, “got tased in the cell LOL.”

Parham is now free on $25,000 bond. The investigation is continuing.

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Former San Francisco California Transit Police Officer Johannes Mehserle, Who Still Claims He Didn’t Know The Difference Between His Taser Weapon And Pistol, Files Appeal To Overturn Manslaughter Conviction After Tiny Slap On The Wrist For Killing Unarmed Man

May 12, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – Johannes Mehserle, a former San Francisco Bay Area transit police officer, is appealing his involuntary manslaughter conviction for the killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant in Oakland.

The move has deeply angered Grant’s family, who say the appeal is an attempt for Mehserle to clear his name so that he can become a police officer again.

“I’m here to denounce his attempt to clear his record. He committed such gross negligence that he should not be allowed back on the streets to protect and serve again,” said Grant’s mother Wanda Johnson at a news conference Friday in Oakland.

The appeal to overturn the conviction was filed this week and argued during a court hearing on Wednesday, according to Michael Rains, Mehserle’s defense attorney. The appeal questioned some of the evidence and instructions that were given to the jury at Mehserle’s 2010 trial.

The three-judge panel of the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco could make a decision on the appeal in 90 days.

Mehserle was accused of fatally shooting Grant on New Year’s Day 2009 on a platform of a Bay Area Rapid Transit station. Mehserle said at the trial that he intended to draw and fire his Taser rather than his gun.

He was sentenced to two years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter conviction, but was released last year because of a California law that allowed him to reduce his sentence to nearly a year.

Grant’s family members said they were also angry that they were not informed about the court hearing.

“We’re angered. We are hurt,” said Cephus Johnson, Grant’s uncle. “We were denied our right to be at this hearing. We applied to be informed about any hearing that pertained to Johannes Mehserle. This proceeding is an example of shutting victims out of the process. The family is outraged.”

This case has been controversial in California’s Bay Area community for years. The 2009 shooting was captured on a bystander’s cellphone video camera. The video showed Mehserle pulling his gun and fatally shooting Grant in the back as another officer knelt on the unarmed man. The video was widely circulated on the Internet and on news broadcasts, and it spurred several protests in and around Oakland.

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Meridian Connecticut Police Kill Man Who Had Scissors

April 21, 2012

MERIDEN, CONNECTICUT - A scissor-wielding man died after being shot by police with a Taser and then a gun Saturday morning.

Neighbors who spoke with News 8 at the scene say the man scared them. He was outside the home yelling with scissors in his hand. The next thing they knew police were there and the man was dead.

“Next thing I know they’re bringing him down handcuffed, oxygen, CPR, he was covered in blood,” said Lali Rios.

The incident occurred around 2:30 a.m., at a home located at 10 Maple Branch.

Upon responding to the home, Meriden police officers found a male suspect on the second floor creating a violent disturbance.

The man then moved to the third floor. Police said he was armed with scissors and was making verbal threats.

When the suspect suddenly charged at officers with the scissors, one of the officers deployed his Taser at the man. However, the Taser did not stop the suspect and he continued to attack the officers.

At that time, an officer was forced to use his weapon, striking the suspect.

He was taken to the Mid State Medical Center Emergency Department where he was pronounced dead.

No other injuries were reported.

As per department policy, the officer involved in the shooting will be assigned to administrative duties.

“You want to use the least amount of force possible in any incident, and certainly in a life threatening incident,” said Lt. Paul Vance, “and the last resort is to utilize deadly physical force.”

State Police will be investigating the shooting.

State Police are also investigating an incident in which a Meriden man died after police used a Taser on him during a reported disturbance Saturday morning.

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Meridian Connecticut Police Officer Uses Taser Weapon To Kill Man With Hammer

April 21, 2012

MERIDIAN, CONNECTICUT – A Meriden man died after police used a Taser on him during a reported disturbance Saturday morning.

The incident occurred just before 2 a.m., at 10 Grove Court.

According to State Police, a female homeowner called police saying that a man was breaking items in the home.

The woman told police that the man, identified as Angel Hiraldo, 48, of 10 Grove Court, was armed with a hammer.

When police arrived they found Hiraldo on the front porch of the home, with a hammer in his hand. When police told him to drop the hammer, he denied the requests and approached them in a threatening manner.

An officer then drew his Taser, striking Hiraldo in attempt to gain control.

Hiraldo then began to experience difficulty breathing and was taken to Mid State Hospital Emergency Department.

Hiraldo was pronounced dead just after 2:30 a.m.

As per department policy, the officers involved in the incident will be assigned to administrative duties.

State Police are investigating.

State Police are also investigating an incident in which a scissor-wielding man died after being shot by police with a Taser and then a gun Saturday morning.

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Los Angeles California Police Use Taser Weapons To Kill Porn Actor Who Tried To Kill Himself

April 18, 2012

CALIFORNIA – Sometimes strength can be a weakness. That may have been the case for porn star Marland Anderson, known by many as Sledge Hammer, who was tased to the point of cardiac arrest by police. According to Anderson’s friend, the police may have been intimidated by his size and resorted to using a taser instead of other means to subdue him.

Anderson died Friday, five days after police took him to a hospital for attempting suicide, the Los Angeles Times reports. The incident began on April 8 when the police responded to a report of an attempted suicide in the Reseda area. When they arrived, Anderson’s girlfriend told the officers that Anderson had tried to hurt himself with a knife, and she had struggled with him for it.

He was then restrained to a gurney and, on the way to the hospital, broke the gurney free from a floor lock and broke a handcuff. At this point, police used a taser to restrain Anderson.

AVN quotes adult film director Stoney Curtis, who described the struggle:

When the cops arrived, Anderson’s height (6-foot-4) and bulk intimidated them, and rather than try to subdue him with the manpower available, they began shooting him with their Tasers—”excessively,” according to Curtis—to the point where he suffered a heart attack and for all intents and purposes died for 10 minutes until the EMTs were able to restart his heart.

Curtis said that Anderson had massive swelling in his brain and that doctors told Anderson’s mother that it was unlikely he’d come out of the coma, XBiz reports. Doctors advised Anderson’s mother that even if he did come out of the coma, he would not regain consciousness. So on Thursday night, Anderson’s mother took her son off of life support.

Anderson had been dealing with depression, anxiety and a mild form of schizophrenia, all of which may have been made worse by his marijuana use, according to what Curtis told Luke Is Back. Anderson’s girlfriend, Alexa Cruz, wrote in an email to Luke Is Back, “This was not a domestic violence situation at all so I want to make that totally clear. This man was being tortured by his own mind and suffering from severe insomnia.”

Fellow porn star Jack Lawrence tweeted about his friend’s death: “I still can’t believe that Sledge Anderson is gone. Nine years I have known him. Just THE nicest guy EVER, & so respectful 2 the women in the biz.”

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Hero To Zero: Hundreds Of Utah State Police 2007 “Trooper Of The Year” Lisa Steed’s DUI Called Into Question – Also Attacted Innocent Motorist With Taser Weapon

March 29, 2012

UTAH – Lisa Steed was named Utah Highway Patrol’s “Trooper of the Year” in 2007 for making more than 200 DUI arrests, but now all of her cases could be in question because she admitted she did not follow proper protocol while administering a DUI check.

It is the second time Steed’s DUI arrests have gained notoriety. A 2009 dashcam video shows her Tasering a motorist who was later determined to be sober.

“The cumulative facts may well have a significant ripple effect across every case she’s touched,” Salt Lake City attorney Joseph Jardine told ABCNews.com. “This could become the basis for overturning multiple convictions in the past.”

Jardine is representing Theron Alexander, who claims Steed violated procedure when she administered a breathalyzer test before a field sobriety test in March 2010.

“The credibility of an investigating officer is paramount. If you can’t trust the cop at their word, there’s very little left that you can trust with an investigation,” Jardine said.

At a court hearing on Tuesday, Steed admitted that she had removed her microphone during the incident in order to perform an unauthorized action.

“She specifically stated [Tuesday] that she took the microphone off so her superior wouldn’t know what she was doing,” Jardine said. “We’re concerned that she may have a tendency to stretch the truth when it suits her purposes. Our objective is to probe her credibility.”

Steed’s attorney Greg Skordas does not believe that the incident is any reflection of his client’s credibility.

“It doesn’t affect her credibility. It affects the way she does things, her ability to follow instructions,” Skordas told ABCNews.com. “It doesn’t mean she’s dishonest.”

Skordas said that Steed was simply trying to give the person she had pulled over “the benefit of the doubt” by skipping straight to the breathalyzer test and not having them get out of the car.

“It wasn’t anyone she knew. I think she was just being overly sensitive,” Skordas said. “There wasn’t any bad intent. It was one of those, no good deed goes unpunished.”

This is not Steed’s first run-in with the law. In 2009, a police car dashcam recording caught her Tasering a man during a DUI stop after he refuses to get out of his car, saying he’d like to call a lawyer.

The man, Ryan Jones, can be heard calmly saying, “Ma’am, please don’t shoot me with a Taser,” before Steed zaps him and he beings to scream. When Jones was eventually tested, his blood alcohol level was a 0.03, well below the legal limit.

The case was settled in November 2011 when the state paid Jones $40,000 without admitting wrongdoing.

When asked about the Taser case, Skordas said, “She took her lumps, she was reprimanded and we move on.”

“Unfortunately, you have 300 cases and two go south and then all of a sudden you have a history,” he said. “She wasn’t named Trooper of the Year because she has a history. She works very, very hard and had a couple of unfortunate incidents, which she also stepped up to the plate for.”

Steed has not been charged with a crime at this point, but Jardine believes she has a “huge insubordination problem” that needs to be dealt with.

“It’s hard to say why she would do it specifically,” Jardine said. “Is it pressure from her past achievements? Is it her desire to outdo the other officers in the state? Is it for advancement? Is it for all of the above? Who knows?”

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Disgraced And Suspended Mount Sterling Ohio Police Chief Mike McCoy To Quit After Officer Scott O’Neil Used Taser Weapon Twice On 9 Year Old Boy Who Wouldn’t Put On His Shoes – Police Force Shut Down By Village Council Taser Attack

March 13, 2012

MOUNT STERLING, OHIO – Embattled police Chief Mike McCoy announced last night that he will soon resign from his village post, though he insisted it has nothing to do with the fact that one of his officers shocked a 9-year-old boy twice with a Taser last week.

McCoy, who was placed on paid leave late last week after he did not tell Mount Sterling Mayor Charlie Neff of the incident, said he wasn’t pressured to resign.

Instead, after an hour-long, closed-door meeting between his personal attorney and village officials, McCoy read a statement that said the village’s declining budget keeps him from doing his job.

He said he did nothing wrong by not immediately telling Neff what had happened because, as chief, he felt he needed to check into the incident himself first.

“I did what I was supposed to do to maintain the integrity of the incident,” McCoy said.

Neff said McCoy wasn’t asked to quit, but he added that the past few days “have been tough.” He said that lawyers are drafting a separation agreement and the council is expected to accept McCoy’s formal resignation at its meeting in two weeks. McCoy will not be reporting back to his $49,900-a-year job, though.

In the meantime, the entire part-time police force remains disbanded and the Madison County sheriff’s office will patrol the village. There was no discussion of hiring a new chief or bringing back officers, and last week’s incident is being reviewed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Among the 70 or so people at the meeting was Michelle Perry, whose son Jared was shocked by Mount Sterling police Officer Scott O’Neil last Tuesday morning.

Mrs. Perry didn’t comment, but her attorney, Tracy Comisford, said after the meeting that when O’Neil came to arrest her son for truancy, Mrs. Perry never expected that he would be subdued with a Taser. “She certainly never wanted this to happen,” Comisford said.

Village officials released the police report yesterday. According to O’Neil’s written account:

He went to the boy’s S. Market Street home about 8:30 a.m. to serve a complaint filed against Jared for truancy.

Jared — listed on the report as between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-8 inches tall and between 200 and 250 pounds — refused to cooperate. He begged his mother to let him go to school rather than with the officer, but Perry told her son it was too late.

O’Neil wrote that after repeated warnings, he pulled Jared from the couch, but he “dropped to the floor and became dead weight … flailing around,” and the boy lay on his hands to prevent being handcuffed.

O’Neil demonstrated the electrical current from the Taser into the air “as a show of force.” Then, he wrote, Perry told her son to do as O’Neil said or he would be shocked.

The report indicates that after being shocked once, Jared still didn’t cooperate and was shocked a second time. An ambulance was called, but Jared had no sign of injury; Perry signed a waiver for medical treatment. Jared was taken to the sheriff’s office, and a delinquency count of resisting arrest was added to his truancy charge.

As people left the meeting last night, many offered McCoy support and said they stand behind the police department. Resident Heather Rice said all the facts about what happened last week aren’t yet known, and McCoy has simply become a scapegoat.

“This isn’t about a Taser,” she said. “This is about forcing this village to lose its police force.”

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Disgraced And Suspended Mount Sterling Ohio Police Chief Mike McCoy To Quit After Officer Scott O’Neil Used Taser Weapon Twice On 9 Year Old Boy Who Wouldn’t Put On His Shoes – Police Force Shut Down By Village Council Taser Attack

March 13, 2012

MOUNT STERLING, OHIO – Embattled police Chief Mike McCoy announced last night that he will soon resign from his village post, though he insisted it has nothing to do with the fact that one of his officers shocked a 9-year-old boy twice with a Taser last week.

McCoy, who was placed on paid leave late last week after he did not tell Mount Sterling Mayor Charlie Neff of the incident, said he wasn’t pressured to resign.

Instead, after an hour-long, closed-door meeting between his personal attorney and village officials, McCoy read a statement that said the village’s declining budget keeps him from doing his job.

He said he did nothing wrong by not immediately telling Neff what had happened because, as chief, he felt he needed to check into the incident himself first.

“I did what I was supposed to do to maintain the integrity of the incident,” McCoy said.

Neff said McCoy wasn’t asked to quit, but he added that the past few days “have been tough.” He said that lawyers are drafting a separation agreement and the council is expected to accept McCoy’s formal resignation at its meeting in two weeks. McCoy will not be reporting back to his $49,900-a-year job, though.

In the meantime, the entire part-time police force remains disbanded and the Madison County sheriff’s office will patrol the village. There was no discussion of hiring a new chief or bringing back officers, and last week’s incident is being reviewed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Among the 70 or so people at the meeting was Michelle Perry, whose son Jared was shocked by Mount Sterling police Officer Scott O’Neil last Tuesday morning.

Mrs. Perry didn’t comment, but her attorney, Tracy Comisford, said after the meeting that when O’Neil came to arrest her son for truancy, Mrs. Perry never expected that he would be subdued with a Taser. “She certainly never wanted this to happen,” Comisford said.

Village officials released the police report yesterday. According to O’Neil’s written account:

He went to the boy’s S. Market Street home about 8:30 a.m. to serve a complaint filed against Jared for truancy.

Jared — listed on the report as between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-8 inches tall and between 200 and 250 pounds — refused to cooperate. He begged his mother to let him go to school rather than with the officer, but Perry told her son it was too late.

O’Neil wrote that after repeated warnings, he pulled Jared from the couch, but he “dropped to the floor and became dead weight … flailing around,” and the boy lay on his hands to prevent being handcuffed.

O’Neil demonstrated the electrical current from the Taser into the air “as a show of force.” Then, he wrote, Perry told her son to do as O’Neil said or he would be shocked.

The report indicates that after being shocked once, Jared still didn’t cooperate and was shocked a second time. An ambulance was called, but Jared had no sign of injury; Perry signed a waiver for medical treatment. Jared was taken to the sheriff’s office, and a delinquency count of resisting arrest was added to his truancy charge.

As people left the meeting last night, many offered McCoy support and said they stand behind the police department. Resident Heather Rice said all the facts about what happened last week aren’t yet known, and McCoy has simply become a scapegoat.

“This isn’t about a Taser,” she said. “This is about forcing this village to lose its police force.”

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Mount Sterling Ohio Police Chief Mike McCoy Suspended And Force Disbanded After Nutcase Officer Scott O’Neil Twice Used Taser Weapon On 9 Year Old Victim Who Wouldn’t Put On His Shoes

March 12, 2012

MOUNT STERLING, OHIO – Officials in the Madison County village of Mount Sterling expect a packed house tonight when the village council meets for the first time since suspending Police Chief Mike McCoy and essentially disbanding the police force on Friday.

Mayor Charlie Neff issued the suspensions after he was told that a village police officer had shocked a 9-year-old boy with a Taser earlier in the week during an arrest. Neff said McCoy should have immediately reported the incident to Neff and council members. He did not.

Officer Scott O’Neil, who used the Taser twice Tuesday morning on 9-year-old Jared Perry, did not respond to calls on Friday for comment. Village officials, however, released a copy of O’Neil’s report this morning.

The sheriff’s office had requested an officer check the boy’s S. Market Street address on because there was an outstanding unruly juvenile complaint filed against him because he was truant from school.

According to O’Neil’s written account: He arrived at the home just before 8:30 a.m. to take the boy into custody. Jared refused to cooperate and wouldn’t put on his shoes to go with the officer. He begged his mother, Michelle Perry, to let him go to school rather than with the officer, but Perry told her son it was too late.

O’Neil wrote that after repeated warnings, he pulled Jared from the couch but the boy “ dropped to the floor and became dead weight … flailing around.” The officer wrote that Jared — who is listed as between 5 foot 5 and 5 foot 8 inches tall and between 200 and 250 pounds — laid on his hands to prevent being handcuffed.

The report indicates that O’Neil warned that he would use the Taser, and demonstrated the electrical current into the air “as a show of force” to gain the boy’s cooperation. He wrote that Jared’s mother was telling her son to do as O’Neil said or else he would be shocked.

O’Neil wrote that after he shocked Jared the first time, he still refused to cooperate and so he was shocked a second time.

It took both O’Neil and the boy’s mother to get Jared to his feet, once handcuffed. He was breathing heavily but uninjured, and Perry signed a waiver of medical treatment. Jared was taken to the sheriff’s office and charged with delinquency counts of unruliness for his truancy and resisting arrest. O’Neil wrote that Jared’s mother thanked him for his help.

O’Neil said that he immediately notified Chief McCoy about what had happened. McCoy has not publicly commented since his suspension. Perry has not been able to be reached for comment.

The Madison County sheriff’s office is patrolling the village while it all is sorted out. Council President Lowell Anderson said council will have to decide tonight whether to permanently disband the force.

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Cumberland County North Carolina Deputy Sheriffs Repeatedly Uses Taser Weapon On Woman In Front Of Her Child – For Blocking McDonalds Drive-Thru

February 6, 2012

NORTH CAROLINA – Deputies used a Taser on a woman who wouldn’t surrender to them after she cut into a McDonald’s drive-through line and then refused to move her car without being served, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

Evangeline Marrero Lucca, 37, of the 100 block of Snow Hill Church Road, pulled up to the window of the McDonald’s on Legion Road, near Black and Decker Road, on Friday afternoon and held up the line for about 20 minutes before deputies arrived, said Debbie Tanna, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

Staff at the restaurant reported that Lucca drove her Ford Taurus to the pickup window, bypassing the order screen and payment window, and tried to order her food there, she said.

“She did not want to wait in line,” Tanna said. “They told her she had to go around and wait like everybody else did and place her order that way, that they weren’t set up at that window to take her order or take her money. … She wasn’t having any of that.”

The woman refused to move her vehicle and became confrontational with the employees, she said.

“When we arrived, she really got mad,” Tanna said.

Attempts to reach Lucca for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Customer Anthony Rich said he pulled into the parking lot to order lunch and found a long line of cars at the drive-through. He said he got in line and waited, eventually getting up to the first window, where he commented about the long line.

An employee told him the woman was refusing to move, Rich said.

The employee told him the woman frequently comes to the restaurant and cuts in line, and that, “We’re not having it anymore, so we called the cops,” Rich said.

Lisa Powell, who owns the franchise for that McDonald’s location, said in a prepared statement that employees called deputies “after lengthy conversation with the customer” about why her actions were unsafe.

Rich said deputies soon arrived at the scene and ordered Lucca to get out of the car, but she refused. The deputies continued their orders for about 20 minutes, until they finally removed a young girl, he said.

“Two or three officers entered the car with her and started trying to forcibly drag her out of the car, and that’s when you could hear the clicking sound of the Taser one time,” Rich said. “They pulled on her a couple of times, and then they Tased (stunned) her again, and when they Tased (stunned) her the second time, she just flopped out of the car like a fish.”

Lucca was charged with second-degree trespassing. Social workers took custody of her 3-year-old child who was in the car, Tanna said.

Tanna said deputies are not allowed to use Tasers on a person who simply refuses to comply with orders without danger involved, but in this case Lucca was engaging in “threatening behavior.”

“Our top priority was making sure people weren’t hurt because we didn’t know if she was going to drive the car off and run over somebody,” Tanna said. “Then there was the baby in the car we were concerned about.”

The deputies performed a “drive stun” on Lucca, a technique that does not involve firing probes into the target’s skin, she said.

A drive stun involves removing the Taser cartridge and touching the weapon directly on the skin to create a “pain compliance effect,” according to the Fayetteville Police Department’s use of force policy. A drive stun is applied to pressure points on the surface of the skin and allows officers to restrain a suspect without full incapacitation.

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Nutcase U.S Park Ranger In California Attacked Man Walking Dogs Without Leashes With Taser Weapon

January 31, 2012

CALIFORNIA – A Montara man walking two lapdogs off leash was hit with an electric-shock gun by a National Park Service ranger after allegedly giving a false name and trying to walk away, authorities said Monday.

The park ranger encountered Gary Hesterberg with his two small dogs Sunday afternoon at Rancho Corral de Tierra, which was recently incorporated into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, said Howard Levitt, a spokesman for the park service.

Hesterberg, who said he didn’t have identification with him, allegedly gave the ranger a false name, Levitt said.

The ranger, who wasn’t identified, asked Hesterberg to remain at the scene, Levitt said. He tried several times to leave, and finally the ranger “pursued him a little bit and she did deploy her” electric-shock weapon, Levitt said. “That did stop him.”

San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies and paramedics then arrived and Hesterberg gave his real name, the park spokesman said.

Hesterberg, whose age was not available, was arrested on suspicion of failing to obey a lawful order, having dogs off-leash and knowingly providing false information, Levitt said.

He was then released. He did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Witnesses said the use of a stun gun and the arrest seemed excessive for someone walking two small dogs off leash.

“It was really scary,” said Michelle Babcock, who said she had seen the incident as she and her husband were walking their two border collies. “I just felt so bad for him.”

Babcock said Hesterberg had repeatedly asked the ranger why he was being detained. She didn’t answer him, Babcock said.

“He just tried to walk away. She never gave him a reason,” Babcock said.

The ranger shot Hesterberg in the back with her shock weapon as he walked off, Babcock said.

“We were like in disbelief,” she said. “It didn’t make any sense.”

Rancho Corral de Tierra has long been an off-leash walking spot for local dog owners. In December, the area became part of the national park system, which requires that all dogs be on a leash, Levitt said.

The ranger was trying to educate residents of the rule, Levitt said.

The park service is investigating the incident, he said.

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Tuscaloosa County Alabama Deputy Sheriff Sgt. Althea Mallisham Pleads Guilty After Taser Weapon Attacks On Inmates

November 16, 2011

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA – A former Tuscaloosa County sheriff’s sergeant pleaded guilty today to federal charges that she wrongfully used a taser as punishment on prisoners on three separate occasions in 2008.

Althea Mallisham, 52, pleaded guilty to three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law during a hearing today before U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Hopkins. Hopkins has set Mallisham’s sentencing hearing for March 15.

Mallisham admitted in a plea agreement also filed today in the case that she used an X26 Taser to electro-shock three different prisoners who were either in handcuffs or locked in a cell and did not pose a threat to her.

“This correction officer deliberately inflicted significant pain on those entrusted to her care for no legitimate law enforcement purpose,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, said in a news release from the U.S. Justice Department.

Mallisham faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, for each count.

“It’s a sad situation that resulted in her having to enter a plea of guilty to the indictment,” her attorney, Tommy Spina, said after the hearing. “She has accepted responsibility for her actions and is prepared to face the consequences that the judge sees fit to impose.”

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Massachusetts Police Assault Unarmed Naked Man Using Taser Weapon

October 20, 2011

DEERFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS – A quiet morning at the summit of Mount Sugarloaf was disrupted this Sunday after a naked man caused a scene which ended after police used a stun gun, twice, to subdue him.

According to a report in The Recorder, the unnamed man was running around the mountain, as nearby onlookers were preparing for a wedding.

Deerfield Police Chief Michael Wozniakewicz said that his officers along with Massachusetts State Police and Sunderland police responded to the incident.

Officers apparently approached the man and unclear circumstances led one of them to fire a stun gun at him. The naked man reportedly fell to the ground and rolled around, causing one of the electrical leads to fall out.

Police said he became combative and a second Taser cartridge was deployed, striking the naked man. As officers struggled to subdue the man, a state trooper was allegedly struck in the face, getting him a bloody nose for his efforts.

When the naked man was finally taken into custody, he apparently apologized to officers as he was placed on a gurney and loaded into a Deerfield Ambulance.

The Recorder reported that Wozniakewicz said the man may have been suffering from a medical issue which led to the naked scuffle on top of the mountain.

The man, who has not been formally charged, was taken to the Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield for treatment.

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Warren Michigan Police Killed Handcuffed Man With Taser Weapons

September 23, 2011

WARREN, MICHIGAN – Neighbors say police may have used excessive force because victim not threatening

A neighbor of a 27-year-old Warren man who died after he was Tasered by police said a few minutes prior the incident the man appeared “freaked out” but not threatening.

The neighbor, a 43-year-old man who did not want to be named, said Sunday that Richard Kokenos knocked on the front door of his home on Kendall Street shortly after midnight Saturday morning and asked to use the telephone to call his mother because his grandmother needed help.

“He looked like he was freaking out, like something might have happened at home,” the neighbor said. “It was strange. He was acting weird.”

When the neighbor returned to the door with his cell phone, Kokenos already had gone next door and knocked on that door. Kokenos went to a third house before returning to the second house, where the 43-year-old man again approached Kokenos to offer his phone.

But Kokenos left and walked a few houses to Eureka Street, where he tried to enter a home, according to a TV report. When police responded to the scene, Kokenos reportedly was seen slamming his body into the home.

Officers handcuffed and placed Kokenos in a patrol car. Kokenos attempted to break out of the squad car, and one of the officers attempted to stop him by stunning him with a Taser gun, according to the TV report.

Spay paint markings made by police indicating the location of Kokenos’ body could be seen Sunday in the parking lane of northbound Eureka, across the street from St. Mark Church, which abuts the Fitzgerald High School football field.

No one answered the door of the home early evening Sunday where it is believed Kokenos tried to enter.

The 43-year-neighbor and another neighbor, Dave Magiera, said based on what they heard, the police’s actions seem excessive. They said Kokenos was not threatening, as he was heavy and short.

“I think maybe it’s overkill,” the 43-year-old man said. “He was not a threatening guy. It’s just too bad.”

Magiera said he learned that a dozen police officers responded.

“They had enough force there to contain him” without Tasering him, Magiera said. “I’m pissed. I think they used excessive force. He was kind of a chubby kid, not a threat.”

Magiera said Sunday morning he talked to Kokenos’ mother, with whom Kokenos had been living since earlier this year.

“She was a wreck,” he said. “She told me they Tasered him three or four times.”

The use of Taser stun guns by police have come under fire off and on in recent years in Macomb County and nationally due to occasional deaths involving them.

The incident is at least the third death following a police Tasering in Macomb County, and second in Warren, in recent years.

Robert Mitchell, 16, of Detroit, died in April 2009 after he was struck several times by a Taser fired by a Warren police officer in a Detroit house after Mitchell ran from an Eight mile Road traffic stop . Although the marijuana was found in the 16-year-old’s system, two forensic pathologists concluded that the Taser contributed to his death by affecting his heart. The teen’s family sued in federal court. The outcome of that case was unclear Sunday.

In 2007, 47-year-old Steven Spears, a body builder and hairdresser from Shelby Township, died after he was involved in a tussle with police that included the deployment of a Taser gun. Although autopsy reports attributed his death to cocaine, his family filed an excessive force lawsuit against the township and settled for $1.95 million.

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Key West Florida Police Officer Curtiss Richardson Uses Taser Weapon On Himself

September 3, 2011

KEY WEST, FLORIDA – A dog named Buddy stands accused of biting a Key West police officer — and apparently being responsible for that officer accidentally firing his Taser into his own leg during an Aug. 24 incident on South Street.

“I drew my department issued X26 Taser as the dog jumped up and bit into my right forearm, causing the Taser to deploy into my left leg,” Officer Curtiss Richardson wrote in his report.

It was a significant bite,” police spokeswoman Alyson Crean said. Richardson was treated at Lower Keys Medical Center.

Buddy, a 5-year-old mutt with some pit-bull characteristics, was expected to be released from the Stock Island animal shelter today after a 10-day mandatory quarantine.

Buddy’s owner, Aaron P. Strickland, 28, was arrested on two felony counts of battery on a police officer and obstructing an officer. “They ripped me out of my house,” Strickland said Thursday. “I’m dumbfounded. I didn’t do anything.”

Richard Wunsch, Strickland’s attorney, called the entire incident “kind of weird.”

Key West officers were called to a report of a “possible domestic disturbance” at the South Street home. Once there, Richardson said he heard “a female screaming inside the residence.”

The dog had bitten Jennifer Dent, Strickland’s girlfriend, during what Strickland described as “playful wrestling around.” Richardson wrote that he saw through a window that Dent was “bleeding heavily.”

The officer said he feared Dent was a victim of domestic violence and wanted to talk to her. Strickland refused to open a sliding-glass door, Richardson said.

“We weren’t going to go outside,” Strickland said. “There were two cops standing in my yard pointing Tasers at us.” He added: “That scared me. I’ve been Tased before.”

Richardson says in the report that Strickland “pushed me with his hands into my chest, back away from the door.” A roommate opened a door to an inside room, and Buddy rushed toward the outside door.

“The dog immediately began running toward my location,” the officer wrote. “I told Strickland to secure his dog [but] Strickland made no attempt to secure the dog.”

That’s when Buddy bit him, resulting in the wound and the accidental Taser fire, Richardson wrote.

“The dog ran out,” Strickland said. “I didn’t see the dog bite him.”

Officer Ashlie Dean-Quiros said she came around the house and saw “Strickland screaming, ‘You tried to Taser my dog!’ ” Other city police officers responded to the incident, which they described as a “barricaded individual.”

Strickland, who works as a personal-watercraft tour guide, said he saw “a full SWAT team in full riot gear … saying I had to go downtown to answer questions.”

He said the police “raided the whole house,” looking for drugs. “There was nothing to find. We’re all working people.”

Strickland stayed inside and called Wunsch for advice. The attorney asked Strickland to give the phone to a police supervisor.

“I was telling the officer to let me get down there and help figure this thing out,” Wunsch said. “The officer assured me that no one was being arrested; they just wanted to talk [to Strickland] downtown about the dog bite.”

Wunsch said, “Seconds later there was a commotion and the phone got dropped…. They yanked [Strickland] through the door and arrested him. I’ve never had anything like that happen before.”

Wunsch said he plans to review video recorded on the Police Department’s Tasers. Strickland was released after posting $10,000 bond. Arraignment has not taken place.

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$325,000 Lawsuit Charges Gretna Louisiana Police Officer Joseph Mekdessie With Taser Weapon Attack On 7 Year Old Boy – Officer Also Subject Of $32 Million Lawsuit In Penis Case

August 26, 2011

A Gretna police officer accused in a lawsuit this month of unleashing his canine on a suspect whose penis was nearly severed has been accused in another lawsuit of injuring a 7-year-old boy with his Taser, a shock intended for the boy’s father who says he wrongly arrested during a traffic stop. Officer Joseph Mekdessie, Chief Arthur Lawson, the Gretna Police Department and the City of Gretna are named in the lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans by attorneys for Marlon Bordelon Sr., and his son Marlon Bordelon Jr., who seek $325,000 in damages in the May 21 incident.

Lawson said Monday he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment, but he knew of no instances in which a child was hit with a Taser.

The Bordelons were “traveling home” when Mekdessie conducted a traffic stop and allegedly shined his flashlight in the boy’s face, leading the father to question why the officer was doing it, according to the lawsuit filed by attorney Edwin Shorty Jr. The officer then asked the elder Bordelon for his license and registration, and asked him to get out of the car.

The father twice asked why he was being ordered out of the car and refused to get out, “prompting Officer Mekdessie to say, ‘Don’t get tased in front of your son.'”

“Mr. Bordelon then asked the officer, ‘So you’re just gonna tase me in front of my son?'” and again refused to get out of his car, according to the lawsuit.

When the father told his son to call his mother, Mekdessie fired his Taser, striking the man and his son. Mekdessie fired the Taser a second time at the man, causing him to fall out of the car and onto the ground, where the officer placed a stun gun to the man’s neck and shocked him before putting him in handcuffs and dragging him and punched in the neck and face, according to the lawsuit.

Marlon Bordelon Jr. was taken to Children’s Hospital, where a burn mark on his leg caused by the Taser was noted, according to the lawsuit. After he was released from jail on charges of battery on a police officer and traffic offenses, Bordelon Sr., was treated for a black eye and first-degree burns, according to the lawsuit.

Mekdessie “mislabeled” Bordelon’s “involuntary gestations,” caused by his being shocked, Bordelon alleges. Bordelon says he did nothing wrong, but that Mekdessie “sought to falsely prosecute … and to concoct a false story against him.”

The lawsuit accused Lawson and the police department of not properly training officers to use Tasers and approve their use even when there is no threat to the officer.

Mekdessie, Lawson, Officer Roland Kindell and the police department were sued Aug. 9, by Cody Melancon of Gretna, who alleges his constitutional rights were violated May 31, when Mekdessie, Kindell and other officers went to his apartment to arrest him on a warrant.

Melancon admits he initially tried to hide from the officers. But he said he surrendered, and despite complying, Mekdessie allegedly released his police canine, Zin, without cause. The dog bit at Melancon’s groin area, causing extensive damage and leaving him sexually dysfunctional. Melancon seeks $31 million in damages.

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US Police Use “Safe” Taser Weapons To Kill Three People Over Weekend

August 8, 2011

US - A naked man on drugs died in Wisconsin this weekend, after police used a Taser stun gun to subdue him. A student died at the University of Cincinnati after balling his fists and getting tasered by police. A man high on drugs in Manassas, Va., also died this weekend after police tasered him as he escaped, partially handcuffed, after punching an officer and a firefighter.

All three deaths are being investigated. One of the departments, the University of Cincinnati Police Department, has suspended the use of Tasers by its officers.

About 15,000 US police departments, including 29 of the nation’s 33 largest cities, use a total of 260,000 Tasers. The devices have been the objects of controversy since first being deployed broadly in the 1990s. Some describe them as an alternative to the nightstick that reduces officer injuries and saves lives. Others see the stun guns as instruments of torture whose growing use make them a symbol of reckless policing.

In some cases, the Tasers are only tangentially related or unrelated to the actual cause of death, and that may be the case in the three incidents from this weekend. But recent studies have shown that the weapons can have an outsized impact on people with health problems or who are very high on drugs and in a state of “excited delirium.”

Tasers contributed to some 351 US deaths between 2001 and 2008, says Amnesty International, which adds that 90 percent of those tasered were unarmed at the time they were electrocuted. The website Truth Not Tasers claims that 39 people have died in relation to “conducted energy devices (CEDs)” this year in the United States, an average of five per month.

On the other hand, 99.7 percent of people who are tasered suffer no serious injuries, according to a May report from the National Institute of Justice. “The risk of human death due directly or primarily to the electrical effects of CED application has not been conclusively demonstrated,” says the report.

A growing number of police departments have begun to limit Taser use, imposing stricter policies for use or even taking the instruments out of officers’ hands. Memphis, San Francisco, and Las Vegas police departments have all opted out of Taser use recently, amid growing questions about the level of threat necessary to justify electrocuting someone with 50,000 volts delivered through barbed bolts.

“Because of the criticism and the deaths, there’s been a lot of people backing off of Tasers,” says Samuel Walker, a professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, who studies police accountability. “The fact is, a lot of departments are taking some very positive, proactive steps to ensure accountability, and controlling Tasers is one of part of doing that,” he says. But in other departments, he adds, “they’re using it much too broadly and recklessly, where it isn’t appropriate.”

The current Taser debate hinges on when, not if, the stun guns should be used. Few disagree with the use of Tasers as an alternative to deadly force, but in some departments, officers can employ Tasers when someone is simply refusing to obey an order.

Tasers are often most used when police officers are dealing with unruly people who themselves are unarmed, but whose failure to comply with police instructions make officers to feel threatened. Most departments use the “billy club policy,” which holds that Tasers are appropriate in any situation where an officer would otherwise pull and be ready to use a billy club, or night stick, which tends to lead to more serious injuries than a Taser.

Taser opponents point to the public outrage over the tasering of a fan at a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game, and various lawsuits documenting officers using Tasers on subdued, non-aggressive, or even handcuffed people. Tasers “can be used too much and too often,” the National Institute of Justice found in its May report.

At the same time, some law enforcement officials have pushed back against setting higher standards for Taser use.

“Police chiefs are saying, don’t write the standards so that it’s going to take away decision-making … when I write my own policies,” says John Gnagey, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association, in Doylestown, Pa. “The argument that Tasers should only be used when the use of deadly force is authorized is asinine.”

After releasing an advisory in 2009 urging police not to shoot suspects in the chest, Taser International is now marketing the old version of its gun, which allows for only a five second blast of current before officers have to make the decision to hit the suspect again. A newer version of the gun allowed officers to apply continuous current, which the NIJ said in a separate May report has been associated with deaths.

In all three cases from this weekend, the victims were acting erratically and, in at least one, in Manassas, Va., the man had already physically assaulted a police officer. But whether the occasions rose to a level where officers would have used deadly force is far from clear. None of the three men were armed.

In Kaukauna, Wisc., police responded to a report of a naked, out-of-control man running across a city bridge. When police reached him, the man appeared to be in the throes of a drug overdose, claiming he was covered in snakes. When he refused to comply with officers, a Taser was used to knock him down.

At the University of Cincinnati, a recent high school graduate, at the university for college-preparatory summer classes, was approaching the police with an “altered mental status” and balled fists when he was brought down with a Taser. The University of Cincinnati Police Department has suspended the use of Tasers as it investigates the case. One newspaper account said the officer who fired the Taser was “very distraught” by the young man’s death.

Some police departments, including Kansas City, Seattle, and Madison, Wisc., have begun publishing their Taser policies on their public websites, in an effort to increase transparency and respond to public concerns. None of the three police departments involved in this weekend’s incidents publish their policies on Taser use, with one – Prince William County – citing “tactical concerns.” Calls to the other two departments were not returned by the time this story was posted.

“This is a very important point of accountability that goes beyond Tasers, a form of openness and transparency,” says Professor Walker.

Some battles over Tasers have played out in the courts.

“Tasers and stun guns fall into the category of non-lethal force; non-lethal, however, is not synonymous with non-excessive force,” ruled the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2009. “All force – lethal or non-lethal – must be justified by the need for the specific level of force employed.”

In July, a North Carolina jury returned a $10 million verdict against Taser International, the maker of the stun guns, for the 2008 death of a 17-year-old in Charlotte, N.C., ruling that company failed to provide police with adequate warnings or instruction. Taser International plans an appeal.

The day of the North Carolina verdict, another Charlotte man died in a Taser-related incident, prompting that city’s police department – considered one of the most professional in the nation – to impose a 45-day suspension on the use of the weapons, to review their polices.

“My personal opinion is that when departments become restrictive and take away a tool, it’s generally because they’re afraid of some sort of public pressure coming from a certain segment of society,” says Mr. Gnagey. When public pressure does succeed in restricting or banning Tasers, he adds, “Later on, when things die down, we’ll just quietly introduce it back into the population.”

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Pelham New Hampshire Police Officer Sgt. Mike Pickles Attacked Unarmed Cow Using Taser Weapon

June 10, 2011

PELHAM, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Pelham police say they were justified in using a Taser several times on a cow, despite a complaint from its owner.

Last Saturday, one of Wendy Bordeleau’s two cows got loose from her 30-acre farm.

About a dozen people were trying to coral 800-pound Houdini across busy Mammoth Road when police showed up with their tasers.

“They said ‘We’re going to tase her, we’re going to taser it,’ and the group was pleading with them. Everyone was kinda yelling, ‘Please don’t taser the cow, it’s only going to make it worse,” she told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

Houdini was zapped at least four times.

“It didn’t really affect the cow all that much. It kind of realized that something had hit it and that it was comparable to a bee sting.”

However, Bordeleau thought police went too far.

Sgt. Mike Pickles told WBZ he made the right decision.

“It blew through a wooden fence right next to me. That was the time a decision was made. I have to do something to try and control this animal,” he said.

“As a matter of public safety, that is a better option than just allowing things to happen and people get hurt.”

The cow made it home safely and, at last check, was eating grass.

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Phoenix Arizona Police Officers Tedesco, Mills and Neidenbach Brutally Beat And Used Taser Weapon Against Paralyzed Polio Victim, Lied In Reports And Accused Him Of Assault And Running Away – Wife And Children Threatened And He Was Denied Medical Attention By Maricopa County Jail

June 3, 2011

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – After Tasering, kicking and hitting a man in the head with flashlights while calling him a “wetback,” Phoenix police officers falsely accused him of assaulting them and running away, but the man can’t fight or run at all because he is paralyzed on one side of his body from childhood polio, he says in a civil rights complaint.

Refugio Rodriquez sued the city, Maricopa County, Maricopa County Correctional Health Services and the three Phoenix police officers he says assaulted him in the parking lot of a church.

Rodriquez, whom the officers accused of aggravated assault against a police officer after they Tasered, kicked and hit beat him with police-issued flashlights, says he could not have assaulted the officers or run because the left side of his body is paralyzed from polio.

Rodriquez the three officers – Tedesco, Mills and Neidenbach – approached him outside of a church on May 27, 2010.

They told him “you better not run you (expletive) wetback” and then slammed him onto the concrete driveway “in a manner which obviously exceeded the minimal amount of force necessary to accomplish a lawful purpose and continued to brutally assault plaintiff Refugio in the driveway,” according to the complaint in Maricopa County Court.

After they needlessly Tasered him, they handcuffed him and continued to kick and hit him in the head “with their police-issued long flashlight,” the complaint states.

The officers stopped beating him after his wife, Josephine, and his two children “screamed at and pled with the defendant officers to stop the beating,” according to the complaint. The officers told the wife and kids to “stay across the street or that they would be ‘in trouble.'”

s., says the officers did not let his family see him after they beat him, “to cover up Refugio’s bruises, scrapes and severe swelling of the head.”

The officers told his wife and children “that there was nothing wrong with Refugio and that he was ‘the same as when he left home awhile ago,'” the complaint states.

But at the Maryvale police station, one of his assailants asked him, “‘What’s the matter, you can’t take an ass-whipping?'” Rodriquez says.

Rodriquez says the officers lied in their police report: that they wrote that he “ran from the officers when they first came into contact … which is totally impossible because plaintiff cannot run due to the paralysis on the whole left side of his body since his birth with polio.”

The officers “lied so they could try to cover up more lies” by claiming he had resisted and fought them, and by charging him with aggravated assault on a police officer, according to the complaint.

Rodriquez says he was taken from the Maryvale police precinct to the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail, where the intake nurse told him “he was going to be transported to the nearest hospital emergency room via an ambulance because of the severity of his injuries.”

But a few minutes later the intake nurse told him that “if she sent him to the hospital emergency, she was told she would lose her job.”

After Rodriquez was released on bail, his wife took him to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where the emergency doctor told him that “he could have died because a blood clot near his brain was beginning to develop,” the complaint states.

Rodriquez and his wife seek punitive damages and medical expenses for assault, battery, negligence, and civil rights violations. The complaint does not list the three officers’ first names, but it does include their badge numbers.

The Rodriquezes are represented by Jimmy Borunda

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Two Off Duty Orlando Florida Police Officers Suspended After Using Taser Weapon To Kill Man Who Caused Disturbance Outside Movie Theater

April 22, 2011

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – A man causing a disturbance outside a movie theater near Universal Studios died Friday after being handcuffed and shocked with a Taser stun gun, Orlando police said.

Two off-duty officers who were working security in the area tried to deal with a man who was acting “irrational,” early Friday morning, said Sgt. Barb Jones, an Orlando police spokeswoman.

The suspect — identified as Adam Spencer Johnson, 33, of Winter Haven, Florida — began to “violently” resist after one of the officers tried to detain him, Jones said. An officer shocked the man with a Taser stun gun, then he was handcuffed, police said.

While on the ground, Johnson became unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The officers involved were placed on routine administrative leave pending an investigation of the deaths, according to police.

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Australian Police Officer Who Killed Man With Taser Weapon Didn’t Think It Would Hurt To Be Shocked – Can Only Remember 8 Of The 28 Times He Zapped His Victim

March 11, 2011

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – A police officer tasered a north Queensland man up to 28 times because he believed the device, which emits a shock of 50,000 volts, did not cause pain, a coronial inquest has heard.

Senior Constable Craig Myles told the inquest into the death in custody of Antonio Galeano he used the Taser repeatedly because it was not having the desired effect on the 39-year-old.

However, he said he believed the device was designed to incapacitate but not hurt a person.

“I didn’t think it was hurting him,” he told the inquest in Townsville.

Sen Const Myles said he had seen volunteers tasered during his training with the device but was under the impression it did not cause pain.

“Some of them (the volunteers) screamed out and some said it didn’t feel great… but I thought it just incapacitated the person,” he said.

The officer told the inquest he remembered using the Taser eight times against Mr Galeano but conceded it was possible he deployed it 28 times – as data recorded by the device suggested.

Mr Galeano died on the floor of his girlfriend Sandra Wynne’s home at Brandon, south of Townsville, in June 2009 after Sen Const Myles and his partner Constable Marina Cross were called to a disturbance there.

Sen Const Myles said he arrived to find Mr Galeano naked, bloody and chanting incoherently out the bathroom window at the rear of the residence.

He said he deployed the Taser from outside the residence because he believed Mr Galeano would try to climb through the window and he did not want to physically apprehend him because he was covered in blood and a known drug user.

“I didn’t want to get that close to him because of the blood,” he said.

The officer said he activated the Taser three times through the window before going inside, where he said he activated it another five times as he and Const Cross struggled to subdue Mr Galeano.

He later told his officer in charge the device did not appear to be as effective as he was taught during training five weeks earlier.

The inquest will resume in Brisbane on March 21.

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Taser Weapon Misuse By Portland Oregon Police Officers Costs Taxpayers $138,000 To Settle 2 Federal Civil Rights Lawsuits

February 28, 2011

PORTLAND, OREGON – As the Portland Police Bureau grapples with how to update its Taser policy, two federal lawsuits stemming from inappropriate Taser use suggest some city police aren’t familiar with the current restrictions on their use.

The city settled both lawsuits, paying a total of $138,073 to two men who were Tased by police after they had surrendered. In each incident, the men were on their knees with their hands locked behind, or on their heads when they were tased.

One man’s back was to the officer when he was shot with no warning, an arbitrator found based on witness statements, although the officer said she had shot him in the stomach.

Both men were charged with misdemeanors ranging from interfering with police to harassment. Separate juries cleared both of them and some charges were dismissed.

The officers violated bureau policy by using the Taser against people who were “passively resisting,” according to testimony from the criminal trials and civil depositions. But no discipline was issued.

Portland attorney Matthew McHenry represented both men in their lawsuits.

“These cases exemplify why law enforcement needs new and better training on Taser use,” McHenry said. “They both struck me as a case in which the Taser was used against people who were not a threat.”

Portland’s current policy — which allows police to use a Taser when someone physically resists or displays the intent to physically resist – is more permissive than other cities’ and model guidelines. The city auditor’s office has recommended a more restrictive policy.

A federal appeals court ruled in December that police can be held liable for using a stun gun against an unarmed person who poses no immediate threat. Deputy City Attorney Dave Woboril said that Portland’s current guidelines on Taser use are not precise enough and need to be improved to better guide officers.

In late January, the city paid $81,766to settle a federal civil rights suit filed by Hung Minh Tran, a commercial insurance broker, against Officer Jennifer Thompson.

The settlement came after a stinging rebuke from an arbitrator, who found that the officer’s sworn testimony conflicted with that of four witnesses and Tran.

reese.jpgThe OregonianChief Mike Reese
“Officer Thompson denies deploying her Taser against Tran while he was on his knees, facing away from her, but based upon the testimony of several witnesses, I find that she did,” arbitrator Alan Bonebrake wrote, adding she deployed probes into Tran’s back.

“This was unnecessary, unreasonable and an excessive use of force,” he wrote. Tran proved he was deprived of his civil rights from the use of the Taser, assault and Thompson’s negligence, the arbitrator found.

The encounter between Tran and Thompson happened Nov. 24, 2007 when the officer responded to the report of a woman assaulted at the Cheerful Tortoise bar, near Portland State University.

When Thompson arrived, the victim and her boyfriend were outside. As the officer was talking to them, Tran stepped out of the bar. The boyfriend accused some of Tran’s friends of being involved in the assault, and two began arguing.

Thompson ordered Tran back into the bar. Tran admitted that at first he refused in order to defend his friends, who the boyfriend claimed were involved. “He says it wasn’t me. It wasn’t my friends, then goes back in,” Tran’s attorney told jurors.

The officer testified that Tran pushed her and then went inside. She followed to arrest him. Thompson said Tran struggled and knocked her into a stack of chairs.

Tran testified that he didn’t know who was grabbing him from behind, and he struggled to get away. When he realized it was a police officer, he said he complied with Thompson’s requests and she dragged him back outside. He said the officer knocked him into the chairs.

Once outside, the officer’s account drastically differed from Tran and witnesses.

Tran said Thompson was giving him confusing commands, such as go against the wall, back up against the wall, and back away from the wall. He didn’t understand what she wanted so he did what he’s seen on TV: got down on his knees, with his hands locked behind his head, facing away from her, “so I’m not a threat.”

“I did not ever see a Taser. I was not warned about a Taser,” Tran testified. “All I remember is getting Tased in the back, and I didn’t know where that was coming from.”

At the trial, he showed photos of bruises to his back. Police didn’t take photos.

Thompson wrote in her report that once outside with Tran, she pulled her Taser. In her deposition, she said she probably did not warn Tran she was going to fire it, as policy requires. Her report said Tran had his hands up in the air, saying “OK, OK.”

“After the physical contact, twice pushing me, I decided to pull my Taser to get some compliance because he wasn’t complying with me physically. It wasn’t specifically at that second. It was everything to that point.”

Not until her cross-examination did Thompson say anything about drawing her Taser, reholstering it and accidentally firing probes into her holster when she reached to draw it out again. Thompson testified she probably didn’t put the safety on. She testified that Sgt. Cory Roberts told her to leave the accidental discharge out of her report since it wasn’t used against Tran then.

She said she then used the stun gun against Tran’s stomach and handcuffed him.

As a result of their encounter, Thompson never talked to a witness who saw the bar assault she was sent to investigate.

McHenry, who also represented Tran during his criminal trial, argued that Thompson lied on the stand. “She Tased him against her training, and she’s trying to cover for that,” he told a jury, who acquitted his client of disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer.

Woboril said police managers are aware of the settlement.

In her deposition, Thompson said she received a de-briefing from then–Central Precinct Sgt. Kyle Nice. (A police review board this month found he acted inappropriately for drawing his firearm during an off-duty road rage encounter.)

In a confidential memo Nice wrote to then-Precinct Cmdr. Mike Reese, he said the Tran case had caused Thompson anguish, she had reviewed it and would learn from it.

Woboril said he didn’t know if police internal affairs has reviewed the case. If not, the city’s “tort review group will certainly look at that result and see if the bureau needs to open one up.”

Last spring, the city paid out $56,306 to settle a federal suit brought by Christophe Clay, 24, against Officer John Hughes and Michelle Tafoya.

Also on Nov. 24, 2007 coincidentally, Clay had gone to the Game Crazy store in North Portland to buy an XBOX 360 controller. After an argument with a clerk, Clay asked the manager for the business’ corporate number. The business called police.

Officer Michelle Tafoya arrived and saw Clay walk out of the store. She immediately shouted commands and pointed her Taser at him. Officer John Hughes, who responded next, drew his Taser as well. Clay, both said, had his hands on his head.

Hughes testified that he told Clay to go to his knees and turn away from them. Clay got to his knees, kept his hands on his head and turned sideways to the police. “I said they can come and arrest me,” Clay said.

Because Clay would not put his face to the ground or turn fully away from police, Hughes fired his Taser at him twice. Police also threatened to Taser Clay’s friend who was videotaping them. Police said having a suspect lie face to the ground allows for a safer approach for officers.

At Clay’s criminal trial, Hughes acknowledged Clay was passively resisting, not moving toward him, not reaching for anything. When questioned by Clay’s criminal defense attorney Stephanie Engelsman, Hughes admitted he violated bureau policy.

“I don’t think there was any dispute dramatically as to what Clay was doing at the moment he was Tasered,” said deputy city attorney Scott Moede, who represented the officers in the civil suit.

Clay said he sued Tafoya because she started the encounter “yelling at me like a mad person,” without ever trying to talk, and Hughes for shooting him.

“I shouldn’t have to sue to look for justice,” Clay said.

The city settled these cases, and no discipline followed. The plaintiffs’ attorney isn’t surprised.

“That’s why we have to file these cases because that’s the only way there’s any type of satisfaction,” McHenry said.

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Lee County Florida Deputy Sheriff Ronald Flynn Shoots Himself With Taser Weapon

September 7, 2010

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - A Lee County deputy accidentally shocked himself with a stun gun while trying to arrest someone.

A 911 caller on Sunday said she was attacked by 22-year-old Shane Steven Plazola. When deputies arrived, they found Plazola in bed.

Deputies tried to awaken Plazola and Deputy Ronald Flynn leaned over him to see if Plazola was breathing. Authorities said Plazola then punched the deputy in the cheek, knocking him backward.

Several deputies tried to subdue Plazola, and Flynn raised his hand to protect himself while firing his stun gun, authorities said. Two barbs lodged in his hand and he was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Plazola was arrested and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, battery and resisting a law enforcement officer with violence. He remained in jail Monday on $8,000 bond.

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Marin County California Deputies Enter Injured Man’s Home Without A Warrant And Attack Him With Taser Weapon

September 1, 2010

MARIN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA - A Marin County man has filed suit against the Marin County Sheriff’s Department for an incident in which he says law enforcement officers went too far. Peter McFarland was Tased inside his own home as his wife watched, begging officers to stop.

On June 29, 2009 McFarland and his wife Pearl were returning home from a charity fundraiser just before midnight. McFarland injured himself as he stumbled and fell down the long steps to his front door.

“Mainly it was to my knee and the front of my leg, my shin,” McFarland said.

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His wife called paramedics, who helped him into the house and treated him. As the paramedics were leaving, two sheriff’s deputies arrived.

“All of a sudden, they just showed up, they came in here like there was a fire going on, like a gunfight was going on,” McFarland said.

What happened in the following minutes was captured on a camera mounted on the deputy’s Taser.

The deputy tells McFarland he is going to take him to the hospital because he may be suicidal.

“We want to take you to the hospital for an evaluation, you said if you had a gun, you’d shoot yourself in the head,” the deputy can be heard saying.

McFarland says it was just hyperbole. He was tired and in pain.

The deputy orders him numerous times to get up or else.

“Stand up, put your hands behind your back or you’re going to be Tased,” the deputy says.

McFarland keeps refusing.

The exchange goes on for about five minutes; his wife keeps pleading with the deputies not to Tase him, saying he has a heart condition.

Then, McFarland tells the deputies in no uncertain terms to leave.

As he gets up to go to bed, McFarland is Tased. Not once, but three times.

“There’s got to be a problem in terms of training and on supervising deputy sheriffs in the county; it’s hard to imagine something so shocking could happen,” McFarland’s attorney John Scott said.

McFarland says he never had any suicidal thoughts. In fact, he considers himself lucky to be alive.

“I’m a survivor of pancreatic cancer; one of 4 percent in this country,” McFarland said.

Scott says his client was arrested, jailed and charged with resisting arrest. A judge later dismissed the charge.

Scott says the deputies had no search warrant or legal reason to enter McFarland’s home and even if they thought he was drunk and suicidal, Scott says the Tasing was excessive force.

ABC7’s calls to the Marin County Sheriff’s Department were not returned.

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Hospital Security Guards Beat And Taser Man Having Epileptic Seizure – Who Happens To Be Nephew Of US Supreme Court Judge…

July 11, 2010

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is reportedly “outraged” after security guards at a New Orleans-area hospital were accused of punching and tasing his epileptic nephew, a news report states.

Derek Thomas was admitted to West Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Thursday, after a possible suicide attempt, reports ABC affiliate WGNO.

When the Supreme Court justice’s nephew refused to put on a hospital gown and said he wanted to leave the hospital, doctors ordered security to restrain him.

Security guards “punched him in his lip, pulled out more than a fistful of his dreadlocks and tasered him to restrain him,” a statement from Thomas’ family said.

Shortly afterwards, family members say, Thomas suffered a “massive epileptic seizure.”
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The station reported that an “outraged” Justice Thomas is headed to Louisiana to look into his nephew’s condition.

Members of Derek Thomas’ family are trying to have him transferred to another hospital, but as of Friday afternoon, he was reportedly still a patient at West Jefferson.

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Thurston County Washington Deputy Sheriff Uses Taser Weapon On Man After Finding Couple Having Outdoor Sex

June 9, 2010

THURSTON COUNTY, WASHINGTON – A Thurston County sheriff’s deputy tased a man twice early this morning after he interrupted the man having sex with a woman outside a home in the 14000 block of Vail Cutoff Road, according to the sheriff’s department.

Patrick Bergin, 21, of Yelm, was placed under arrest on suspicion of third-degree assault, Thurston County Chief Criminal Deputy James Chamberlain said.

According to Chamberlain:

The incident began around 2 a.m. when a deputy was responding to a complaint of loud music outside a residence on Vail Cutoff Road. As the patrol car approached the residence, its lights passed over a couple having sex on the lawn.

The couple began to put their clothes on, and the deputy approached them to ask for identification. The woman who was with Bergin screamed and tried to run away. Bergin approached the deputy, and ignored commands to sit down. Both the man and the woman appeared “highly intoxicated.”

The deputy believed that Bergin was taking an aggressive stance, and believed that he would be assaulted, so he shot the barbs from his Taser at Bergin. Bergin ripped the barbs of the Taser from his chest, and continued to approach the deputy. As Bergin continued to approach the deputy, the deputy reloaded the Taser and shot it again. The Taser’s barbs struck Bergin in the arm. Bergin was subdued and placed under arrest for third-degree assault.

Chamberlain said Tuesday that it is very unusual for a person to be able to rip the barbs from a Taser off of his or her body while receiving an electrical jol

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Crazed Tybee Georgia Police Officers Assault Innocent Autistic Teen With Heart Condition

May 24, 2010

TYBEE, GEORGIA – An 18-year-old autistic Georgia youth with a heart condition says police turned a Taser on him, according to The Associated Press. Officers arrested Clifford Grevemberg Friday night, says the AP and told his brother, Dario Mariani, that the teen was drunk and disorderly. But Mariani said Grevemberg is a special-needs teen who’s never consumed alcohol.

The 170-pound teenager, who’s from Tybee Island, said the police used a Taser on him twice and threw him to the ground, breaking a front tooth.

“I just wanted to go to sleep,” the teenager told the Savannah Morning News, as reported by the Examiner.com. “I sat down on the curb and put my head in my arms, and they stopped me.”

Mariani said he had gone into a restaurant briefly and when he stepped back out, his handcuffed brother was bleeding and two Taser barbs dangled from his back.

When he told the police about his brother’s health, “Their eyeballs got about that big when I told them he has a heart condition,” Mariani said. The autistic teen’s heart must be monitored regularly, according to his family.

After being taken to the Tybee police station, Grevemberg was released. Yesterday a police dispatcher said that no one was available to comment, according to The Associated Press.

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Orange County California Deputies Attack Autistic Child With Taser Weapon

June 7, 2009

ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – Orange County sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday defended their decision to use a stun gun on a 15-year-old autistic boy who ran away from his parents and later dashed into traffic.

Using the Taser in this case “was the right thing to do,” said Jim Amormino, a sheriff’s spokesman. “If that were your son, would you want him Tased or hit by a car? The deputy made the right decision. . . . It could have saved [the boy's] life.”

But Doris Karras, mother of Taylor Karras, said deputies did not need to use the Taser gun, particularly because she had called various police agencies to alert them that her son was missing. She said her son would have followed deputies’ directions if he hadn’t felt threatened.

“This was a very aggressive response,” she said. She said her son “didn’t have any weapon on him. He didn’t even have a pencil.”

Taylor fled during a visit to the Regional Center of Orange County in Westminster about 11:30 a.m. Monday. The family had gone there for counseling, which the boy did not want.

About nine hours later, his mother saw him about one block from their home — 16 miles from the center — on the ground and handcuffed by deputies.

Amormino said Tustin police called the Sheriff’s Department after a pedestrian reported a suspicious person. Taylor was pushing a shopping cart down Newport Avenue near La Loma Drive, near his home in North Tustin. With no money, he apparently had walked home.

Doris Karras said her son, who is 5 feet 10 and has a beard, looks older than 15.

Amormino said Taylor yelled something when approached by a deputy, then ran across Newport Avenue, causing two cars to swerve. It was then that a deputy shot him with a Taser gun.

The deputy handcuffed the youth to keep him out of traffic, Amormino said.

Taser guns use compressed nitrogen to propel two darts that attach to the body. The darts are connected to the gun by a wire and deliver a 50,000-volt shock at five-second intervals to incapacitate a suspect.

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Kansas City Missouri Police User Taser Weapon On Naked Accident Victim Who Was Reciting The Lord’s Prayer

May 10, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – Kansas City police this morning used a Taser gun on a nude man after he fled the scene of his overturned car just east of Bruce R. Watkins Parkway.

Police answered a call about an overturned vehicle in a creek bed in the 5900 block of Agnes Avenue about 9 a.m. When police arrived at the scene, the man was being treated for gash to his head.

At one point, the man boarded an ambulance for treatment, but when an officer turned his back to check the vehicle, the man leaped from the ambulance and started running down the middle of 59th Street in the nude.

Police chased him about a block where the man’s escape was blocked by bushes in the backyard in the 5800 block of Chestnut. The man, described as 6 foot 5 inches and weighing 200 pounds, started growling and reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Police said they warned him several times, but he continued to resist their efforts to subdue him before a Taser was used.

The man was undergoing medical care late today.

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Kansas City Missouri Police User Taser Weapon On Naked Accident Victim Who Was Reciting The Lord’s Prayer

May 10, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – Kansas City police this morning used a Taser gun on a nude man after he fled the scene of his overturned car just east of Bruce R. Watkins Parkway.

Police answered a call about an overturned vehicle in a creek bed in the 5900 block of Agnes Avenue about 9 a.m. When police arrived at the scene, the man was being treated for gash to his head.

At one point, the man boarded an ambulance for treatment, but when an officer turned his back to check the vehicle, the man leaped from the ambulance and started running down the middle of 59th Street in the nude.

Police chased him about a block where the man’s escape was blocked by bushes in the backyard in the 5800 block of Chestnut. The man, described as 6 foot 5 inches and weighing 200 pounds, started growling and reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Police said they warned him several times, but he continued to resist their efforts to subdue him before a Taser was used.

The man was undergoing medical care late today.

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Lakeland Flordia School Resource Police Officer Edward Lori Assaults 13 Year Old Girl Using Taser Weapon

April 8, 2009

LAKELAND, FLORIDA – A Lakeland police officer said he had no other choice than to use his Taser on a 13-year-old student at Southwest Middle School.

According to the arrest report , student Unique Young had been removed from class for acting up. However, she refused to sit in the office and wait for her parents to come pick her up.

The school’s resource officer, Edward Lori, was alerted of Young’s refusal to wait in the front office. The police report says Lori joined the confrontation between Young and the dean of students in the hallway of the school.

Lori said he asked Young to come with him but she refused. He says in the report that Young “is not a normal-sized 13-year-old child. She is 5’4” weighing 185 pounds and very strong.”

Lori said that the girl continued to disobey his orders for her to move out of the hall. He pulled out his Taser as a way to make her comply, but she kept on screaming.

Lori pointed the taser at the girl and warned her before pulling the trigger.

“She instantly fell to the ground, at which time I ran over to her,” said Lori in his statement.

After that, Young agreed to get up and go into the office. She was arrested by Lori for resisting arrest without violence.

Witnesses backed up the resource officer’s account of what happened. Young was taken to a juvenile detention center before being released to her parents.

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Montgomery County Texas Deputies Shoot And Kill Naked Man In His Own Home With Taser Weapons, Then Investigate Themselves Afterwards

March 1, 2009

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TEXAS  A man died shortly after sheriff’s deputies used a Taser on him at his Montgomery County home Saturday, authorities said.

Deputies received a call about 7 a.m. of a possible suicide attempt at a residence in the 6500 block of Golden Oaks Drive. Robert Lee Welch, 40, had been pushing people there and would not respond to family members, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies approached and tried to talk to Welch, who was not wearing clothing, authorities said. When Welch wouldn’t respond, deputies tried to detain the man, who resisted and struggled, authorities said.

Deputies then used a Taser to help control the man, authorities said. Paramedics at the scene began treating Welch, who was not breathing and did not have a pulse.

Welch was taken to a Conroe hospital, where he died. An autopsy will be conducted at the Southeast Texas Forensic Center to determine the cause of death.

The incident is being investigated by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Texas Rangers as well as the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Tasers, which can deliver a 50,000-volt electrical charge, have drawn controversy across the country. Montgomery County added Tasers to its arsenal in 2006 through federal grants.

The Houston Police Department started using Tasers in 2004. A Houston Chronicle analysis showed that HPD officers deployed their Tasers 1,724 times between December 2004 and May 2008, triggering 69 internal affairs investigations.

Critics worry that the weapons are often used on people who have not committed crimes.

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Montgomery County Texas Deputies Shoot And Kill Naked Man In His Own Home With Taser Weapons, Then Investigate Themselves Afterwards

March 1, 2009

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TEXAS  A man died shortly after sheriff’s deputies used a Taser on him at his Montgomery County home Saturday, authorities said.

Deputies received a call about 7 a.m. of a possible suicide attempt at a residence in the 6500 block of Golden Oaks Drive. Robert Lee Welch, 40, had been pushing people there and would not respond to family members, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies approached and tried to talk to Welch, who was not wearing clothing, authorities said. When Welch wouldn’t respond, deputies tried to detain the man, who resisted and struggled, authorities said.

Deputies then used a Taser to help control the man, authorities said. Paramedics at the scene began treating Welch, who was not breathing and did not have a pulse.

Welch was taken to a Conroe hospital, where he died. An autopsy will be conducted at the Southeast Texas Forensic Center to determine the cause of death.

The incident is being investigated by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Texas Rangers as well as the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Tasers, which can deliver a 50,000-volt electrical charge, have drawn controversy across the country. Montgomery County added Tasers to its arsenal in 2006 through federal grants.

The Houston Police Department started using Tasers in 2004. A Houston Chronicle analysis showed that HPD officers deployed their Tasers 1,724 times between December 2004 and May 2008, triggering 69 internal affairs investigations.

Critics worry that the weapons are often used on people who have not committed crimes.

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Taser Weapon Use By Trigger Happy Massachusetts Police Officers Soars

February 24, 2009

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – The use of Tasers by police in Massachusetts has soared in recent years.

The Boston Globe reports police used Tasers in 229 incidents between September 2007 and September 2008. That’s a fourfold increase from three years ago.

Fall River police reported 45 Tasers incidents last year, the most in the state, at one point firing the weapon 11 times to subdue a man his family described as mentally ill.

Police say Tasers, which deliver a five second, 50,000-volt shock, are an effective, non-lethal way to subdue violent suspects.

Amnesty International said at least 334 people across the United States died after police used Tasers on them since 2001. The human rights group said it’s difficult to know if the Tasers caused the deaths.

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Taser Weapon Use By Trigger Happy Massachusetts Police Officers Soars

February 24, 2009

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – The use of Tasers by police in Massachusetts has soared in recent years.

The Boston Globe reports police used Tasers in 229 incidents between September 2007 and September 2008. That’s a fourfold increase from three years ago.

Fall River police reported 45 Tasers incidents last year, the most in the state, at one point firing the weapon 11 times to subdue a man his family described as mentally ill.

Police say Tasers, which deliver a five second, 50,000-volt shock, are an effective, non-lethal way to subdue violent suspects.

Amnesty International said at least 334 people across the United States died after police used Tasers on them since 2001. The human rights group said it’s difficult to know if the Tasers caused the deaths.

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Bay City Michigan Police Officer Troy Sierras Attacks And Injures Nude Man Using Taser Weapon

February 21, 2009

BAY CITY, MICHIGAN – A nude man was Tasered by police Friday morning before he could enter St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Bay City.

Bay City Police Sgt. Gordon Cameron said the man – believed to be 26 or 27 – indicated to police he was having problems with his parents and walked to the church without so much as a pair of shoes on.

“He wanted to go to the church,” Cameron said. “I don’t know why.”

Police did not release the man’s name.

Cameron said the man, who lives on Bay City’s West Side, was Tasered by Officer Troy Sierras after he refused to cooperate. Police said the man made several derogatory remarks and cursed at them.

The man, still naked, was detained face down in the church parking lot at 11:45 a.m., surrounded by about seven Bay City police officers and firefighters. Blood dripped from his face, an injury sustained from falling on the pavement after being Tasered, police said.

A Taser is a weapon that fires barbs attached by wires to batteries, causing temporary paralysis.

After being lifted onto a stretcher and draped in a white blanket, the man was taken by paramedics to Bay Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

At least two people called 911 to report the man roaming around the church, 607 E. South Union St. A funeral Mass was under way at the time of the incident.

The Rev. Craig Albrecht said he was “speechless,” but glad the man never made it inside the church because of the many children who were there at the time.

“It is a little odd,” he said.

Police said they were unsure of the man’s mental health or whether he was under the influence of any controlled substances. Cameron said the man likely would not be charged with a crime.

“You never want to see anybody like that,” he said. “He doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

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Bay City Michigan Police Officer Troy Sierras Attacks And Injures Nude Man Using Taser Weapon

February 21, 2009

BAY CITY, MICHIGAN – A nude man was Tasered by police Friday morning before he could enter St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Bay City.

Bay City Police Sgt. Gordon Cameron said the man – believed to be 26 or 27 – indicated to police he was having problems with his parents and walked to the church without so much as a pair of shoes on.

“He wanted to go to the church,” Cameron said. “I don’t know why.”

Police did not release the man’s name.

Cameron said the man, who lives on Bay City’s West Side, was Tasered by Officer Troy Sierras after he refused to cooperate. Police said the man made several derogatory remarks and cursed at them.

The man, still naked, was detained face down in the church parking lot at 11:45 a.m., surrounded by about seven Bay City police officers and firefighters. Blood dripped from his face, an injury sustained from falling on the pavement after being Tasered, police said.

A Taser is a weapon that fires barbs attached by wires to batteries, causing temporary paralysis.

After being lifted onto a stretcher and draped in a white blanket, the man was taken by paramedics to Bay Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

At least two people called 911 to report the man roaming around the church, 607 E. South Union St. A funeral Mass was under way at the time of the incident.

The Rev. Craig Albrecht said he was “speechless,” but glad the man never made it inside the church because of the many children who were there at the time.

“It is a little odd,” he said.

Police said they were unsure of the man’s mental health or whether he was under the influence of any controlled substances. Cameron said the man likely would not be charged with a crime.

“You never want to see anybody like that,” he said. “He doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

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Lawsuit Charges Trigger-Happy Carmel Indiana Police Officer Matthew Kinkade With Repeated Taser Weapon Attack On 90 Pound 14 Year Old Boy

February 21, 2009

CARMEL, INDIANA – A middle-school student with autism was Tased twice by a Carmel police officer, according to a lawsuit filed by the boy’s parents against the Police Department, one of its officers and a local school district.

According to the suit, the electrical bursts temporarily knocked the 90-pound boy unconscious during a confrontation at Creekside Middle School. The boy, who was 14 at the time, was taken to a local hospital before being released to his mother.
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The suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, seeks damages for medical expenses, pain, suffering and mental anguish. The defendants are the Carmel Police Department, officer Matthew Kinkade and Carmel Clay Schools.

Carmel Clay Superintendent Barbara Underwood declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit. Efforts to contact Kinkade and a spokesman for the Carmel Police Department were not successful Thursday.

According to the lawsuit:

On March 11, the boy, who is not named in the complaint, was dropped off at Creekside by his mother, Dianne Bell, who called to tell school officials her son was going to be late.

At the end of the day, the boy was told he was going to receive detention. At that point, the boy, who is described as having “affective disorder and has been diagnosed with autism, manic-depressive disorder and bipolar disorder,” became “frustrated and began to act out.”

“During this outburst he is saying outrageous things,” said the Bells’ attorney, Ronald Frazier, noting that the boy threatened to call members of his gang to retaliate against the teachers.

“They know there is no gang there,” Frazier said. “They know he has no way of acting on what he is saying. They are taking these idle threats and calling police.”

The Bells contend the school district failed to follow the guidelines they had set up to deal with the boy’s outbursts — techniques the family says would have given the boy a chance to cool off.

“When a child like (the Bells’ son) starts to have emotional problems, the (individual procedure) is supposed to be followed,” Frazier said. “It has specific steps that are to be taken in order to keep the child from melting totally down.”

Instead, school officials dialed 911.

Officer Kinkade arrived, according to the complaint, and reacted to the boy’s outbursts by grabbing him and forcing him to a bench in the school lobby.

When the physical force failed to control the 5-foot boy, Kinkade drew his Taser and shocked the boy two times until he lost consciousness, according to the complaint.

“Officer Kinkade used unreasonable and excessive force by failing to follow policies and procedures that were in place for dealing with autistic children,” the suit alleges.

Frazier contends in the suit that although school officials say they advised police about the boy’s condition, the Police Department says that’s not so.

The Police Department has an autism response team, but it was not dispatched. Kinkade is not a member of that team, according to the suit.

“Autistic children have a great difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they don’t understand social cues,” Frazier said. “(The Bell child) gets confronted with violence, with Tasers, and he is flipping out because of his sensory overload.”

The suit contends Carmel police were “grossly negligent in the training of Matthew Kinkade,” who joined the department in January 2006.

Noblesville Police Department Lt. Bruce Barnes, an instructor in the use of Tasers, said officers are trained to use the devices when lesser-force options are not available.

“You can use the Taser anytime anybody is punching, kicking or threatening to punch or kick,” Barnes said. “We can use it when we tell someone to do something, they refuse, lesser-force options are not available and they are a credible threat to you.”

Barnes declined to comment on whether the boy could have posed a credible threat to a police officer, saying he did not know the full circumstances of the incident.

Sheila Wolfe, director of the Indianapolis-based Autism Education and Training Center, said the reaction of school officials and the police officer agitated the boy.

“You need to step away and leave them alone so that they can decompress,” said Wolfe, who has an autistic son in middle school in Carmel Clay. “I have a hard time believing that a trained officer would Taser a child with a disability if they fully understood the situation they were walking into.

“I know from experience that the people in Carmel (Clay schools) know better. As a school system, they have the expertise and they have the people available that know better. I’m surprised.”

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Lawsuit Charges Trigger-Happy Carmel Indiana Police Officer Matthew Kinkade With Repeated Taser Weapon Attack On 90 Pound 14 Year Old Boy

February 20, 2009

CARMEL, INDIANA – A middle-school student with autism was Tased twice by a Carmel police officer, according to a lawsuit filed by the boy’s parents against the Police Department, one of its officers and a local school district.

According to the suit, the electrical bursts temporarily knocked the 90-pound boy unconscious during a confrontation at Creekside Middle School. The boy, who was 14 at the time, was taken to a local hospital before being released to his mother.
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The suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, seeks damages for medical expenses, pain, suffering and mental anguish. The defendants are the Carmel Police Department, officer Matthew Kinkade and Carmel Clay Schools.

Carmel Clay Superintendent Barbara Underwood declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit. Efforts to contact Kinkade and a spokesman for the Carmel Police Department were not successful Thursday.

According to the lawsuit:

On March 11, the boy, who is not named in the complaint, was dropped off at Creekside by his mother, Dianne Bell, who called to tell school officials her son was going to be late.

At the end of the day, the boy was told he was going to receive detention. At that point, the boy, who is described as having “affective disorder and has been diagnosed with autism, manic-depressive disorder and bipolar disorder,” became “frustrated and began to act out.”

“During this outburst he is saying outrageous things,” said the Bells’ attorney, Ronald Frazier, noting that the boy threatened to call members of his gang to retaliate against the teachers.

“They know there is no gang there,” Frazier said. “They know he has no way of acting on what he is saying. They are taking these idle threats and calling police.”

The Bells contend the school district failed to follow the guidelines they had set up to deal with the boy’s outbursts — techniques the family says would have given the boy a chance to cool off.

“When a child like (the Bells’ son) starts to have emotional problems, the (individual procedure) is supposed to be followed,” Frazier said. “It has specific steps that are to be taken in order to keep the child from melting totally down.”

Instead, school officials dialed 911.

Officer Kinkade arrived, according to the complaint, and reacted to the boy’s outbursts by grabbing him and forcing him to a bench in the school lobby.

When the physical force failed to control the 5-foot boy, Kinkade drew his Taser and shocked the boy two times until he lost consciousness, according to the complaint.

“Officer Kinkade used unreasonable and excessive force by failing to follow policies and procedures that were in place for dealing with autistic children,” the suit alleges.

Frazier contends in the suit that although school officials say they advised police about the boy’s condition, the Police Department says that’s not so.

The Police Department has an autism response team, but it was not dispatched. Kinkade is not a member of that team, according to the suit.

“Autistic children have a great difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they don’t understand social cues,” Frazier said. “(The Bell child) gets confronted with violence, with Tasers, and he is flipping out because of his sensory overload.”

The suit contends Carmel police were “grossly negligent in the training of Matthew Kinkade,” who joined the department in January 2006.

Noblesville Police Department Lt. Bruce Barnes, an instructor in the use of Tasers, said officers are trained to use the devices when lesser-force options are not available.

“You can use the Taser anytime anybody is punching, kicking or threatening to punch or kick,” Barnes said. “We can use it when we tell someone to do something, they refuse, lesser-force options are not available and they are a credible threat to you.”

Barnes declined to comment on whether the boy could have posed a credible threat to a police officer, saying he did not know the full circumstances of the incident.

Sheila Wolfe, director of the Indianapolis-based Autism Education and Training Center, said the reaction of school officials and the police officer agitated the boy.

“You need to step away and leave them alone so that they can decompress,” said Wolfe, who has an autistic son in middle school in Carmel Clay. “I have a hard time believing that a trained officer would Taser a child with a disability if they fully understood the situation they were walking into.

“I know from experience that the people in Carmel (Clay schools) know better. As a school system, they have the expertise and they have the people available that know better. I’m surprised.”

Appeared Here


Boulder Colorado Police Shoot Unarmed Teen At Least 4 Times With Taser Weapons, Lose Him At Hospital

January 29, 2009

BOULDER, COLORADO – Boulder police shot an 18-year-old man at least four times with a stun gun early Wednesday after receiving a report that he was running into traffic and acting irate.

Officers were called to the area of Broadway and Pennsylvania Avenue at 1:22 a.m., police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said, after someone called about a man carrying a glass pipe and screaming randomly in the street.

When they arrived, officers found a man who told them he was under the influence of the drug LSD and was prepared to fight them, Huntley said. After the man refused to cooperate several times, officers shot him with a Taser.

“He became very combative,” Huntley said, and he received four shocks through the electric probes before he calmed down enough for officers to chain his hands and legs together.

The man continued to fight with officers in an ambulance as he was taken to Boulder Community Hospital, she said.

The suspect was released from the hospital Wednesday before officers could arrest him. His name is being withheld until officers find him, Huntley said. He faces possible charges of obstructing police, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Appeared Here


Boulder Colorado Police Shoot Unarmed Teen At Least 4 Times With Taser Weapons, Lose Him At Hospital

January 29, 2009

BOULDER, COLORADO – Boulder police shot an 18-year-old man at least four times with a stun gun early Wednesday after receiving a report that he was running into traffic and acting irate.

Officers were called to the area of Broadway and Pennsylvania Avenue at 1:22 a.m., police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said, after someone called about a man carrying a glass pipe and screaming randomly in the street.

When they arrived, officers found a man who told them he was under the influence of the drug LSD and was prepared to fight them, Huntley said. After the man refused to cooperate several times, officers shot him with a Taser.

“He became very combative,” Huntley said, and he received four shocks through the electric probes before he calmed down enough for officers to chain his hands and legs together.

The man continued to fight with officers in an ambulance as he was taken to Boulder Community Hospital, she said.

The suspect was released from the hospital Wednesday before officers could arrest him. His name is being withheld until officers find him, Huntley said. He faces possible charges of obstructing police, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Appeared Here


Panama City Beach Florida Police Assault Naked Woman With Taser Weapon

December 22, 2008

PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA – A Beach police officer tased a naked woman after responding to a complaint of a disturbance along Front Beach Road on Saturday.

Just after midnight Saturday morning, a Bay County Sheriff’s deputy responding to a complaint of a verbal disturbance saw a woman leaving an apartment wearing no clothes. She started walking toward him, and he told her to stop.

He could see into the apartment, and he noticed two men coming from the hallway into the living room area. He told them to lie face-down on the floor, and they complied.

Just then, a Panama City Beach police officer arrived. The deputy told him to watch the woman while he secured the two men inside. The deputy reported hearing the officer tell the woman, “Stop, or I will tase you.”

The woman kept approaching the officer, according to the report, which says the officer then “deployed his taser into” the woman.

The report says the woman “remained on the front porch without further incident” once she had been tased.

A second deputy arrived and took photos of the residence, “as there was a large amount of blood in the living room, hallway, office and bedroom,” the report said.

According to one of the men apartment, the three of them had gone for a walk together along the beach and returned to the apartment for drinks. The man said the woman, whose name he did not know, was the other man’s girlfriend. When she started to “put the moves on him,” the report said, her boyfriend became upset and the two men started fighting.

The boyfriend grabbed a small knife, the report said. He never attacked the other man with the knife, but had “accidentally cut himself.”

The boyfriend had a severe cut on his hand and was taken to Bay Medical Center by ambulance. He refused to provide any information to the deputies.

The woman refused to give deputies any information. She said she wanted to go home. She refused medical treatment. She was charged by the Panama City Beach Police with resisting an officer without violence. She was handcuffed and taken to the Bay County Jail by a deputy.

Both men refused to press charges against each other.

Appeared Here


Panama City Beach Florida Police Assault Naked Woman With Taser Weapon

December 22, 2008

PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA – A Beach police officer tased a naked woman after responding to a complaint of a disturbance along Front Beach Road on Saturday.

Just after midnight Saturday morning, a Bay County Sheriff’s deputy responding to a complaint of a verbal disturbance saw a woman leaving an apartment wearing no clothes. She started walking toward him, and he told her to stop.

He could see into the apartment, and he noticed two men coming from the hallway into the living room area. He told them to lie face-down on the floor, and they complied.

Just then, a Panama City Beach police officer arrived. The deputy told him to watch the woman while he secured the two men inside. The deputy reported hearing the officer tell the woman, “Stop, or I will tase you.”

The woman kept approaching the officer, according to the report, which says the officer then “deployed his taser into” the woman.

The report says the woman “remained on the front porch without further incident” once she had been tased.

A second deputy arrived and took photos of the residence, “as there was a large amount of blood in the living room, hallway, office and bedroom,” the report said.

According to one of the men apartment, the three of them had gone for a walk together along the beach and returned to the apartment for drinks. The man said the woman, whose name he did not know, was the other man’s girlfriend. When she started to “put the moves on him,” the report said, her boyfriend became upset and the two men started fighting.

The boyfriend grabbed a small knife, the report said. He never attacked the other man with the knife, but had “accidentally cut himself.”

The boyfriend had a severe cut on his hand and was taken to Bay Medical Center by ambulance. He refused to provide any information to the deputies.

The woman refused to give deputies any information. She said she wanted to go home. She refused medical treatment. She was charged by the Panama City Beach Police with resisting an officer without violence. She was handcuffed and taken to the Bay County Jail by a deputy.

Both men refused to press charges against each other.

Appeared Here


Austin Texas Police Attack Naked Unarmed Man With Taser Weapons

December 9, 2008

AUSTIN, TEXAS – It was a shocking sight for North Austin neighbors on Sunday morning, when a stark naked man ran around a parking lot, jumping up and down on cars and trucks. Police responded to a call of two men fighting at the 8200 block of Sam Rayburn Drive, but when they got there, they found a man on top of a car, jumping and beating on its roof.

“When I came outside, that man, he was jumping off the fence, jumping on the truck,” said Martha Gonzalez, a neighbor who witnessed the scene. “He just wanted dope. He was just trippin’ because the guy didn’t want to give him none.”

Police officials said Sunday that they believe the 28-year-old man was under the influence of some kind of drug, possibly PCP.

“He was like butt-naked,” said Gonzalez. “He didn’t have nothing, no underwear, nothing, just going off.”

Another neighbor, Maria Leal, said they were waiting for the police to take him away, when he damaged their fence and dented their truck.

“Naked, without clothes, without nothing!” said Leal. “It’s not right. I want them to help us clean the streets.”

Leal’s grandaughter, Lanina Castillo, was also home when it happened.

“I got scared because I heard this thing fall and all the stuff just fell and broke,” said Castillo. “He got on top of the car and started jumping on it and dancing on it, like naked, no clothes or nothing on. He took off his shirt, pants and tore off his boxers and just started jumping on the truck.”

Castillo said the man does not live in the housing area on Sam Rayburn, but that she sees him hanging around the neighborhood all the time.

Neighbors believe the man wanted drugs.

“We have had other conflicts, other issues in the neighborhood, but never someone stripping down and creating a seen like that,” said Gonzalez.

Police say they used a Taser the 28-year-old man and took him to Brackenridge hospital for further assesment. He was later booked in the Travis County Jail. APD officials are not releasing his name at this time.

Appeared Here


Austin Texas Police Attack Naked Unarmed Man With Taser Weapons

December 9, 2008

AUSTIN, TEXAS – It was a shocking sight for North Austin neighbors on Sunday morning, when a stark naked man ran around a parking lot, jumping up and down on cars and trucks. Police responded to a call of two men fighting at the 8200 block of Sam Rayburn Drive, but when they got there, they found a man on top of a car, jumping and beating on its roof.

“When I came outside, that man, he was jumping off the fence, jumping on the truck,” said Martha Gonzalez, a neighbor who witnessed the scene. “He just wanted dope. He was just trippin’ because the guy didn’t want to give him none.”

Police officials said Sunday that they believe the 28-year-old man was under the influence of some kind of drug, possibly PCP.

“He was like butt-naked,” said Gonzalez. “He didn’t have nothing, no underwear, nothing, just going off.”

Another neighbor, Maria Leal, said they were waiting for the police to take him away, when he damaged their fence and dented their truck.

“Naked, without clothes, without nothing!” said Leal. “It’s not right. I want them to help us clean the streets.”

Leal’s grandaughter, Lanina Castillo, was also home when it happened.

“I got scared because I heard this thing fall and all the stuff just fell and broke,” said Castillo. “He got on top of the car and started jumping on it and dancing on it, like naked, no clothes or nothing on. He took off his shirt, pants and tore off his boxers and just started jumping on the truck.”

Castillo said the man does not live in the housing area on Sam Rayburn, but that she sees him hanging around the neighborhood all the time.

Neighbors believe the man wanted drugs.

“We have had other conflicts, other issues in the neighborhood, but never someone stripping down and creating a seen like that,” said Gonzalez.

Police say they used a Taser the 28-year-old man and took him to Brackenridge hospital for further assesment. He was later booked in the Travis County Jail. APD officials are not releasing his name at this time.

Appeared Here


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