Police use Taser on suspect for 42 seconds; internal investigati

Police use Taser on suspect for 42 seconds; internal investigation launched

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -

On Saturday night, a police officer in Fredericksburg, Va., used a Taser for 42 seconds to subdue a man. The incident was caught on a cell phone camera by a bystander. The victim says too much force was used to subdue him.

Around 7:20 p.m. on Saturday, a car came down the slight hill on the 200 block of Hanover Street and smashed into five parked vehicles. Witnesses told police the driver got out and fled. The passenger in the car got out, and witnesses said he threatened them if they called 911. Several people called anyway.

The first responding officer ordered the suspect to the ground, but he was not fully compliant. The video shows the man springing up and attempting to run away.

The officer fires a Taser and applies the high voltage charge for 42 seconds. The man on the ground screams, and cries out, “Stop it. Stop.”

As a bystander assists the solo officer, the suspect is handcuffed.

Police arrested 36-year-old Lantz D. Day. He is charged with obstructing justice, a misdemeanor.

Day spent two nights in the regional jail before getting out on bond.

In an evening interview, Day said he has no recollection of the events of Saturday evening, neither the accident involving his car nor the confrontation with police that led to him being hit with the Taser.

Day told us he has no idea who was driving his car at the time of the accident. He says he has suffered severe back spasms since his encounter with police, and may have suffered a concussion. Looking at the cell phone video on social media, Day says it upsets him. He believes he may have been injured in the initial auto crashes. Day believes the application of the Taser went on far too long, and he could have been recaptured by police by being “tripped” as he tried to run away.

Police say Day was checked over by an EMT before being taken to jail. Day says he should have been taken to a hospital.

Police have opened an internal investigation. Fredericksburg Police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe told us: “A single trigger-pull (and release) of a Taser is a five-second charge. Now, a sustained charge, which is what appears to occur in the video, is not prohibited, but we are looking into whether or not the circumstances that happened Saturday night indicated that that was appropriate.”

The officer involved, 10-year veteran Joe Young, is currently assigned to administrative duties. Police say he’s never had an excessive force complaint lodged against him.

Police say the car involved in hitting the parked vehicles belongs to Day, the passenger who got Tasered. He has not told them who was driving, so police here are still seeking that driver on a charge of felony hit-and-run.


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