Man injured after being hit by Fayetteville police stun gun
Posted December 28, 2011
Fayetteville, N.C. — A man was in critical condition Wednesday after being stunned with a Taser during a fight with Fayetteville officers, police said.
The man fought with officers who tried to handcuff and arrest him after he repeatedly called 911 from pay phones at the bus station at 324 Person St. around 4:10 a.m., police said.
An officer used a Taser on the man, but it seemed to have little effect, police said, and the man continued to fight with up to six officers until he was subdued. Officers might have also used a baton on the man, police said.
Medical personnel treated the man at the bus station and took him to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he remained later Wednesday. His identity was withheld, pending notification of family.
Three officers also suffered minor injuries during the fight. The six officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation.
"We don't believe that the Taser had much of a role at all," said Sgt. Gary Womble. "We do know there was physical force used by six officers to try to restrain one person ... and once we look into it and make a determination of responsibility, then we'll make a determination on the culpability of those officers."
The Fayetteville Police Department's use of X-26 Tasers came under scrutiny after the Aug. 24 death of Michael Wade Evans, 56, who collapsed after being stunned with a Taser during a struggle with officers. An autopsy found that he had four times the lethal dose of cocaine in his system.
Police Chief Tom Bergamine ordered that all department-issued Tasers be tested to ensure they were working properly.
An analysis by manufacturer Taser International showed that all but five of the police department's 190 stun guns worked properly. The five malfunctioning units, which held a smaller charge than they should have, were replaced. None were used on Evans.