Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 9:35am |
National News

Taser Update # 7 - 10 June 2007

9 min read

In the period since the trial began on 1 September 2006 to 25 May 2007 there have been a total of 100 incidents involving the taser. The taser was discharged on 15 occasions. Since the last update - 10 April 07 - there have been 15 incidents where the taser has been involved.

Tuesday 10 April - Police went to an address in Porirua looking for a person wanted on an arrest warrant. The occupants were known to be hostile to police and the location was known for the misuse of drugs and there were likely to be weapons present.

Warnings were given to the occupants as police entered the building in accordance with search warrant procedure. A taser warning was given and the occupants were laser painted until the search of the house was completed. One person was taken into custody.

Saturday 14 April - The neighbour of a property in the Wellington suburb of Wellington called police after the sound of smashing glass alerted them to a domestic incident. Police were initially refused entry to the house by a female occupant. Once inside the officers encountered a man in a darkened room in possession of a vacuum cleaner pipe. He initially ignored a request to put it down and get onto the floor. The taser was presented and a warning given. The man complied immediately. It was claimed a glass door had been broken by accident, along with various other items of property damage. There were no signs of visible injury to either party and no complaint forthcoming.

Wednesday 18 April - Auckland Police were called to assist mental health nurses to deal with an unstable patient being transported to hospital. The female patient was holding two knives with both hands and pushing the knives into her stomach and threatening to stab herself. She continually refused to co-operate. The taser was deholstered out of view of the patient.

After a time she became increasingly agitated. Then, she suddenly moved her hands and the knives towards her stomach. The taser was revealed and fired. The probes missed the woman. The firing of the taser made her immediately throw the knives to the side. She was apprehended and mental health workers took her into hospital for assessment. No one was harmed.

Saturday 21 April - Porirua police were called to a fight in the shopping precinct involving a large group. Weapons, such as sticks and bats, were seen by the informant. On arrival police were confronted by 10 - 15 people. One had an axe in his hand another had a crow bar. The man with the crow bar dropped it as soon as he saw Police. Then man still holding the axe was asked to drop it. He was laser painted. On seeing the laser dot on his body he still failed to comply. After further communication the man was drawn away from the crowd and eventually co-operated. He was arrested without further incident.

Wednesday 25 April - Police in Porirua were called to a domestic dispute where the man involved was known to be aggressive, uncooperative and acting in an irrational manner.

He had locked himself into the house with his step father and in the kitchen where he had access to knives. It was not known what he would do. The attending officers managed to gain entry and after laser painting him he was arrested.

Monday 30 April - Lower Hutt police were called to a domestic dispute involving a man who had made about 20 abusive phone calls to his ex partner and making threats to kill her. She had serious concerns for her safety. Police were aware that the man was currently on active charges for firearms and drug offences. Police were concerned the man may have come into possession of another firearm.

He was stopped by Police outside the former partners house and asked to get out of his vehicle. The taser was presented as he alighted and he was warned that any aggressive behaviour could result in the taser being discharged. He followed instruction and was taken ino custody without any further use of force.

Wednesday 2 May - The armed offenders squad was called to a possible kidnapping on Waiheke Island where a man was found to be in breach of a Protection Order. The taser was presented during the course of the incident and the man was laser painted. He complied with police demands.

Wednesday 2 May - Police were called to a domestic dispute in the Auckland suburb of Panmure where one female was arrested on a pre-existing warrant to arrest and began to violently resist. Another woman rushed at police who were able to fend her away. She picked up a bottle and smashed it holding the broken neck of the bottle towards police and threatening them. The taser was presented, she was warned and laser painted. She threw the bottle away and was taken into custody.

Saturday 5 May - Wellington police were called to a Kingston address by a mental health nurse because a man inside the house was smashing up property and behaving in an extremely violent manner, possibly on "P". The man was seen behaving in a very irrational manner. OC Spray and the taser were deholstered and held to the side. Verbal appeals resulted in a tirade of abuse and swearing. After a short time the man came out of the room and walked straight towards the taser operator ignoring instructions.

At less than a meter from the officer the man raised his hands and started to swing a punch. The taser was discharged at the man but his fist glanced off the officer's head. The Constable then stepped forward and carried out a drive-stun to the man's chest with immediate effect. The man was rolled onto his front and handcuffed. Once on his front he tried to spit and kick at police. Post discharge procedures were then carried out. There were no injuries.

Thursday 17 May - Police were called to a boarding house in Avondale where a man was found under the influence of alcohol and drugs. He was aggressive and threatening towards other residents who feared he might harm them. When police arrived they found the man on a couch in the communal living and kitchen area. When spoken to he became agitated and refused to co-operate with police. After several warnings to calm down he continued to be highly agitated, clenching his fists and swearing.

He was warned twice and the taser was presented. The man advanced on police in a very unpredictable manner. An officer walked in behind the man and employed an empty hand tactic, putting the man on the ground where he was safely handcuffed.

Saturday 19 May - Auckland police were called to a violent dispute in Glenn Innes where a man was using a stick to beat up another man. As Police approached the address on foot the man was heard yelling obscenities while being restrained by three other people. About 20 other people were standing around watching. The man continued to be highly agitated and aggressive and appeared to be intoxicated. OC Spray was considered to be ineffective as the man was highly agitated and not safe to approach. An officer told the man to stop yelling, whereupon the man directed his anger at the officer. The man was told he was under arrest and to get down on the ground. The man then broke away from those restraining him and advanced on the officer with fists clenched. The taser was presented and the man was laser painted on the chest. He was warned. He stopped advancing, complied with police instructions and was handcuffed. There were no injuries.

Friday 25 May - Porirua police were called to a domestic dispute in Titahi Bay where a man was threatening his father with a knife. He stabbed the kitchen door as he left. As he walked down the street he threatened everyone he met. A Police Sergeant pulled up in his car and tried to speak with the man who remained angry and aggressive and was thought to be still in possession of a knife. After a short time other officers arrived.

By now the Sergeant moved into the front yard of a house where the man had bags and was trying to walk away from the property. It was believed he was still in possession of a knife. An officer presented the taser and told the man to stop walking away. He was directed to show the knife and place it on the ground. A friend of the man arrived and said she had the knife. The taser was withdrawn and the man handcuffed and searched.

Tuesday 29 May - Police attended at an address in the Glen Eden suburb of Auckland following a report from a woman that a man known to her was trying to break into her house using a crow bar. Police were advised the man had smashed a hole in the door and was trying to gain access.

Police, stopped a short distance from the address for a briefing then approached the address.

The man was recognised and known to be violent. He was inside the house and immediately came into sight holding a garden spade in his right hand.

He was told to put the spade down, he took one step forward and did not comply and was warned he would be tasered. He stopped for a few seconds then dropped the spade.

The man was twice told to get down on the ground. He failed to cooperate. Another officer approached and physically took the man to the ground where he was arrested and handcuffs applied.

Friday 1 June - Police attended a domestic violence incident on the North Shore in Waitemata district.

Police had been told that the offender had assaulted the victim earlier that morning and she had called police but decided that she did not want police involvement. The situation continued to erupt with the offender again assaulting her, damaging property inside the house and then threatening to commit suicide. He tied a rope to the balcony and around his waist. The woman somehow managed to remove the rope and throw it off the balcony.

The man went inside and continued to smash property and threaten her. He was extremely verbally abusive towards Police and the victim, swearing constantly. As one officer was taking notes the second officer was assaulted by the man. The taser was drawn and the man was warned but he continued to struggle. He didn't acknowledge the warning. The officer continued to shout the warning. The man caught sight of the taser and hesitated long enough for the second officer to handcuff him. The man continued to struggle against Police for a short time and was led from the house abusing both Police and the victim.

Tuesday 5 June - Police attended a domestic violence incident in Lower Hutt where a man had been smashing up property. The informant advised that the man had a shotgun, axe and knives.

On arrival police checked to see if the man had come out of the house. Two dog handlers arrived in support and while they were being briefed the man came out of the house with his two 6 year old sons.

The officer beckoned the boys forward and appealed to the man to stay where he was. The taser was drawn and the man was warned. As he refused to co-operate with the commands to get down on the ground he was laser painted and again told to get down on the ground. He became abusive saying he would kill the officer and wanted to be shot. The two dogs were positioned on either side of the man, 2-3 metres away. He was again asked to get down on the ground. He refused. He was tasered and two officers were able to handcuff him. The use of other options had been considered eg OC Spray but the conditions were far too windy and the dogs would have been detrimental to a safe outcome given the two children present.