Cop uses Taser on elderly man suffering diabetic episode: ‘Our police officers are not paramedics’
A New Hampshire police officer used a Taser on a 78-year-old man who suffered a medical emergency while driving.
The officer was called about 11:30 a.m. Sunday to a retail wholesale store in Portsmouth, where they found the man had crashed into some parked cars and then attempted to drive away, reported the Portsmouth Herald.
The driver had his window down but ignored the officer when he ordered the man to stop, investigators said.
The man struck another parked car and continued driving in an erratic manner, eventually striking the officer’s patrol car and breaking its headlight.
The officer told the driver he was under arrest and called for backup.
He tried to pull the 215-pound driver from the vehicle, which was in neutral, and the officer then used his Taser when the man leaned over toward the passenger seat.
The officer was able to subdue the man after a second shock from the Taser, police said.
Emergency crews called to the scene said the man appeared to be weak and quickly determined he was diabetic and suffering from low blood sugar.
Fire Chief Steve Achilles said diabetics in that condition can be combative or angry, and their condition often resembles drug or alcohol intoxication.
The deputy police chief said the incident was “regrettable,” but the officer was not aware the driver was suffering a medical emergency.
“Our police officers are not paramedics,” said Deputy Police Chief Corey MacDonald. “They are charged with bringing dangerous situations under control. This driver could just as easily have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or engaging in willful criminal conduct.”
The man’s handcuffs were removed so he could receive medical attention, and he was taken by ambulance to a hospital.
The driver was not charged in the incident, and police said damage to the other vehicles was minor.
The incident will be investigated by a use of force review committee.