LPD Says Tasers are Safest Way to Control "Out of Control" Situations - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/13/05

LPD Says Tasers are Safest Way to Control "Out of Control" Situations

A Lubbock man is being treated for minor injuries he received when he ran from police and was tased. But police said those injuries could have been worse had they not used a taser.

Police were in the middle of arresting a stabbing suspect Monday morning when he ran away. They used what they felt was most effective in the situation, a taser gun. NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire tells us police use tasers several times a week because they're are proven to reduce officer and suspect injuries by 50%.

"Police officers, they pretty much get on it," said resident Howard Willis after he learned his police used a taser gun on his neighbor. The stabbing suspect tried to run while police were arresting him, and within a split second they used taser guns to stop him.

It happened so fast that neighbor Jeff Plaisted didn't even know what happened. "It was hard to believe it was happening right outside my house," said Plaisted.

Lubbock Police Lt. Roy Bassett explained, "The decision on wether or not to use a taser is always 100% of the time made by the suspect. The officers every single time, I can assure you would much rather have the people comply."

Lt. Bassett said if not for the taser, the situation would've turned into a foot chase, which is more dangerous for everyone involved. "The taser is always going to be a better option than that," said Bassett. "There's so many things that can go wrong when you've got a physical altercation like that and quite frankly, if we have the taser, we don't have to do that."

Officers are instructed to use tasers anytime they receive resistance, but Plaisted still couldn't believe what happened. "We never see them outside or anything," he said, "Then they were running down the street with a taser in their back?"

The suspect in question is facing aggravated assault and evading arrest charges. He allegedly stabbed someone during a fight over a board game.

All uniformed officers on the Lubbock Police Department have carried a taser for the last year.

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