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.