LONDON — A blind man is suing British police after he was tasered by an officer who mistook his white stick for a samurai sword, his lawyer said Monday.
The incident happened in the market town of Chorley in Lancashire, northwest England, on Friday after police received reports of a man walking through the town carrying a sword.
One policeman thought he had tracked down the offender and asked 62-year-old Colin Farmer to stop. When he failed to do so, the officer stunned him with his Taser gun.
On realising the mistake, officers rushed the victim to a hospital where he was discharged after a check-up.
Solicitor Sophie Khan said: “There will be compensation that we will be seeking but the first thing that Mr Farmer will be looking at is some kind of recognition that what happened there was wrong.
“It’s not just about an apology but the structure of the training and the way the police officers behaved generally.”
Lancashire Constabulary Chief Superintendent Stuart Williams said the force “deeply regrets what has happened”, adding “we have clearly put this man through a traumatic experience and we are extremely sorry for that.”
The incident has been referred to Britain’s police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Police confirmed that a different man was later arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon in the town.