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Old 01-30-2008, 03:41 PM
CitaDeL CitaDeL is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 83
Default Bicyclist tased when he runs for minor infraction


Bicyclist tased when he runs for minor infraction
By E-R Staff
Article Launched: 01/29/2008 12:00:00 AM PST

HAMILTON CITY -- A man riding a bicycle with improper lighting equipment was shot with a Taser stun gun Wednesday night as he ran from a deputy who tried to stop him for the infraction.

After repeated attempts, Glenn County sheriff's deputy Cale Smith said he finally got the attention of the rider on Sierra Street, who jumped from the bike and began running.

After a half-block chase and several warnings from Smith that he would use the Taser, he did.

Sgt. Scott James said only one probe struck the man, identified as Omar Herrada Rivera, 39, and he received no shock.

Smith caught up with him near the garage of a home, and took him into custody after a brief struggle.

James said Smith was fully justified in firing his Taser, because Rivera was running toward a home, and could have endangered people inside.

"We consider the Taser as being at the same level of force as other weapons, including pepper spray and batons," James said.

He added that deputies don't deploy Tasers against subjects who are driving or riding a bike because of the risk factor.

Rivera was transported to Glenn Medical Center, where he was cleared for booking into the Glenn County Jail on suspicion of resisting arrest, riding a bicycle without proper lighting, riding under the influence of alcohol and use of false citizenship/government documents.
I'm usually on the look out for stories about inappropriate use of force by police. This popped up on the Drudge Report, and I have to say Im on the fence with this one. I don't know the totality of the circumstances, but here's my take on it.

The drunk illegal alien made a mistake running from the Sheriff's deputy- this was sufficient reason for the deputy to believe that the man could be guilty of something more than a traffic infraction, and therefore escalate the contact from voluntary to a "Terry stop" detention. Oops. Sorry, Pedro- could have been a simple citation if he could keep it cool.

The deputy in my opinion made the mistake of deploying his Taser on someone who might not have understood his commands, in a situation where the confrontation was one on one. Having discharged his Taser, he would then need to load another cartridge to redeploy it. He placed himself in unnecessary danger, engaging the subject in a struggle. He probably should have drawn his sidearm instead- I believe that is understood in any language.

I believe police are overusing Tasers- first, it gives them a sense that since it is considered 'less-than-lethal' that they can deploy it in a wider variety of circumstances than a firearm- second, it opens them up, as in this scenario, to circumstances where the Taser is rendered ineffective and must make a decision to holster or throw down the Taser, and draw their sidearm. This could give a subject in one on one contact the upper hand should the Taser be defeated.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:19 PM
AyatollahGondola's Avatar
AyatollahGondola AyatollahGondola is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 1,316

Kind of amazes me that they still have time for infractions like this. But I guess there's not that much crime in Glenn county, eh?
Now let's wait and see if the collar gets reported to ICE.
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