Threat of Taser ends incident

The Baltimore Sun

Four days after being issued Tasers, Anne Arundel County police made their first move to use the stun gun, but their target surrendered once he realized he was about to be jolted, police said yesterday.

Officers called to the 7500 block of Moraine Drive in Hanover at 5:55 p.m. June 5 found a man, suspected of having psychiatric problems, wielding a knife, police said.

Told that the man had threatened to harm himself or others if approached, officers said they would use the Taser on him if he did not drop the knife, police said.

When he saw the Taser light beam focused on him, the man dropped his weapon and was taken into custody, police said. He has not been identified.

With goals of reducing injuries, complaints of excessive force, lawsuits and police disability time, the department bought 50 Tasers, putting them into use June 1 in a pilot program, police said.

The Taser, which can deliver a 50,000-volt shock, is supposed to be a "less than lethal" alternative to guns. This year, however, four people have died in Maryland after police jolted them with a Taser.

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