"Man with a gun" call...turned taser party for random guy and wife

"Man with a gun" call...turned taser party for random guy and wife

This is a discussion on "Man with a gun" call...turned taser party for random guy and wife within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Someone probably called in "man with a gun" on some CCWer. Cops think, oh no, another mall shooting! Then guy gets tased for matching the ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    "Man with a gun" call...turned taser party for random guy and wife

    Someone probably called in "man with a gun" on some CCWer. Cops think, oh no, another mall shooting! Then guy gets tased for matching the description and resisting. I don't think the cops were necessarily wrong, but it maybe could have been handled better?.

    What is the typical LEO response to man with a gun when nobody was threatened and there is no gun in sight? He did have a series of arrests, so possibly he ditched the gun or something if it was him.

    http://www.madison.com/tct/news/263855

    Police defend action after report of gun

    Man hit with Taser at mall

    Samara Kalk Derby — 12/25/2007 6:27 am

    Madison police scuffled with and then Tasered a 44-year-old man at lunchtime on Christmas Eve in the crowded food court at West Towne Mall. The man's wife also was struck by a Taser probe accidentally.

    Officers were sent to the mall just before 1:30 p.m. looking for a man with a gun, after someone at the mall called 911 anonymously. Officers arrived dressed in full military-style police gear and observed a man matching the suspect's description standing in the middle of the food court.

    Police attempted to make contact with the suspect, later identified as Major T. Lemon, and escort him from the crowded mall area. According to police, Lemon had his hand in his pocket and began to physically resist. At that point, officers took control of Lemon's other arm.

    Lemon allegedly then made statements that he was going to punch an officer. Based on the weapon information and Lemon's physical resistance, officers attempted to place him on the floor. Because of the wet, snow-covered tile, they were unable to take Lemon to the ground.

    An additional officer responded, observed the struggle, and deployed his Taser device. One of the probes struck Lemon and the other probe struck Lemon's wife. Both were secured in handcuffs. Lemon's wife was later released with no charges or injuries. No weapon was found on Lemon.

    Lemon made statements that he had a heart condition, so the Madison Fire Department responded and later took him to St. Mary Hospital's emergency room, where he was evaluated medically, cited by police for resisting and obstructing, then released.

    "Officers received specific information about an individual in the mall. They received clothing information and other types of information about this individual at the mall and that this individual had a gun. That's why they approached him," said Sgt. David Samson.

    The altercation happened in front of the gelato booth Paciugo.

    "I didn't think it was right. A bunch of people were in here shopping. There were kids in here," said Tara Emery-Walls, general manager at Arby's.

    Those eating in the food court quickly left their tables and scattered, she said.

    "It's not right to do that on Christmas," said Emery-Walls, who added that the police should have waited to talk to Lemon until he was out of the mall. "They don't have to bring that in here."

    A young woman working at Paciugo said the Italian ice cream stand was not busy at the time. Everyone was watching the incident.

    The worker, who wouldn't give her name, said she was slightly afraid and called the incident "freaky."

    She said the struggle lasted for about two minutes.

    West Towne Mall general manager Paul Matyas said his security officer was the one who identified Lemon for police.

    He called the incident an isolated situation. "We promote a safe and friendly shopping environment," Matyas said.

    Lemon has a long history of arrests, dating back to 1990. In that time, he has been charged with disorderly conduct nine times.

    In an interview Monday on WISC-TV, Lemon said he was unfairly targeted by police and was just out shopping with his family. Family members talked of suing the police department.

    "

    It obviously is an unfortunate incident," said Sgt. Samson, "but the officers have one of two ways of handling a situation like that. In either of those cases, the officers have to do something."

    He said officers can do what they did, which

    was make contact with the person and assess the situation. Or they could simply identify the person from the dispatcher's description and go in with guns drawn and order that person to the ground.

    "Obviously, with the lack of cooperation and resistance, that causes the officers to escalate to gain control of the situation,"

    Samson said.

    skalk@madison.com


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Something has dammed sure happened to the " Use of force continuum " since i left LE . Tazers , stunguns , and other " 2 legged cattle prods " used to be rated right up there with chemical agents . Nowdays it seems like they are used so as not to have to drop the donut while subduing an otherwise cooperative suspect .

    Now i understand that there are lots of good officers out there who consider the tazer a viable tool in their toolbox . To them i call out to reign inn the idiots of YOUR dept . It wont be long if you dont and it will be a tool you do not have .

    Edited to add :

    Yes i have done the " ride the lightning " thing both in training and as a practical joke ( once ) . It seems the fans of Tazers or Stunguns are not near as fond of getting up close and personal with a remedial Koga lesson lol .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    I am left wondering...in a crowded mall...if it is wise to approach a person of interest such as in this case...or observe. Devil's advocate...what if he begin spraying bullets after being "made"...

    Once he physically resisted...I have no problem with him being tased...

    Rick

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array flagflyfish's Avatar
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    I didn't think it was right. A bunch of people were in here shopping. There were kids in here," said Tara Emery-Walls, general manager at Arby's.

    Those eating in the food court quickly left their tables and scattered, she said.

    "It's not right to do that on Christmas," said Emery-Walls, who added that the police should have waited to talk to Lemon until he was out of the mall. "They don't have to bring that in here."

    Some people raise some stupid kids..... The police may not have handeled it perfectly, but given the events of the past it doesn't suprise me.
    "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier
    and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the
    service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the
    love and thanks of man and woman."

    -- Thomas Paine (The American Crisis, No. 1, 19 December 1776)

  5. #5
    Member Array TravisABQ's Avatar
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    I just wonder if the dialogue was something like this:

    SWAT team sneaks up behind the suspect, "HANDSUPHANDSONYOURHEADGETONTHEGROUND NOWYOUSCUMBAGNOWISAID!!!!!!!!"

    Suspect who was eating his gelato and laughing at something his wife said, astutely says, "huh? what?!"

    Police: "zzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZT!!"

    --Travis--

  6. #6
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    Police attempted to make contact with the suspect, later identified as Major T. Lemon, and escort him from the crowded mall area. According to police, Lemon had his hand in his pocket and began to physically resist. At that point, officers took control of Lemon's other arm.

    Lemon allegedly then made statements that he was going to punch an officer. Based on the weapon information and Lemon's physical resistance, officers attempted to place him on the floor. Because of the wet, snow-covered tile, they were unable to take Lemon to the ground.
    Sounds like they made contact. He wouldn't take his hand out of his pocket. They went hands on, he resisted and subsequently got tased. To bad for him.
    Procrastinators are the leaders of tomorrow.

  7. #7
    Member Array chenemf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C9H13NO3 View Post
    "I didn't think it was right. A bunch of people were in here shopping. There were kids in here," said Tara Emery-Walls, general manager at Arby's.

    "It's not right to do that on Christmas," said Emery-Walls, who added that the police should have waited to talk to Lemon until he was out of the mall. "They don't have to bring that in here."
    Seems to me that this is a lose-lose for the cops. If they react (as they did) it was too much. If they don't react and he goes nuts, why didn't they do more?

    If he had been a whacko, would people shopping and kids have slowed him down?

    If it wasn't Christmas, would it have been okay to Taser him?

    Where is the yahoo who made the anonymous call?

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    What I can never understand is, If a person is not breaking a law, why don't they cooperate with the Police? A while back I was shopping with another person who was accused of shoplifting. The shop keeper called the police, I and my friend waited till they arrived. The Police asked if we would submit to a search. We agreed, when I told the officers that I had a CPL and was armed, they took my weapon cleared it, handcuffed me and searched me. They searched my friend. After they were satisfied that we had not stolen anything, they unhancuffed me, gave me my things back and my unloaded pistol and asked me to load it later, where I wouldn't disturb anyone.

    By coperating we were detained for about a half hour, but no one was hurt.

    There was actually a little humor in this incident, the Officer mentioned that my gun was a little dirty (lint). That was a little embarassing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Sergeant Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Repairs View Post
    It seems the fans of Tazers or Stunguns are not near as fond of getting up close and personal with a remedial Koga lesson lol .
    Do you honestly believe that bystanders would have been LESS critical of a Rodney King-style baton beatdown?

    I think it's important to remember that, ULTIMATELY, it's the suspect that decides how much force will be used.......by deciding just how far he's willing to go to resist arrest (or even detention).

    We have no way of knowing how the conversation played out prior to things getting physical. The cop MIGHT have just charged in there like a bull in a china shop, making all sorts of rapid-fire demands. Or, he MIGHT have done his level best to communicate politely and effectively, and the suspect simply wasn't having any of it.

    I'm pretty proud of my communications skills, and I get into very few wrestling matches. But I still get into them now and then, with suspects who simply WILL NOT be reasoned with.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Sergeant Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C9H13NO3 View Post
    One of the probes struck Lemon and the other probe struck Lemon's wife.
    Unless there was a drive-stun applied, Lemon didn't actually take a "Taser ride", as the circuit would not be complete.

    Also, was his wife interfering? At an 8-degree angle, with a 25-foot range, I can't see the probes being any more than 3 feet apart.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    As I grew up there were two distinct modes of response in regard to interactions with the po-po;

    1) RUN!
    2) Freeze.

    Hell everybody knew this and we practiced as much on the playground and at home while playing 'Freeze Tag'.

    Option #1 was used and viable if by chance you had 30+ ft. distance advantage from a standing start. With that kind of advantage and fresh legs plus adrenalin against a cop wearing 25 lbs. worth of mobile desk around his waist it was a pretty good bet that on a dead sprint you could out run and maneuver one or two po-po if not outlast them in an equal rate of speed break.
    Obviously this does not and did not work for those who were/are out of shape or unable to get out of Dodge such as ones wife standing next to them.

    This is where Option #2 comes into good use.
    Freeze. As in do not move, an inch. Why? Because if you do you're likely to either take a wood shampoo (old school copology) or take a beating to the ground or get shot for looking/being hinky. Nobody liked it but that's just the way it was, and by observation of national news reports still is. Only difference being cops don't carry blackjacks and billyclubs much any more as now they have extendable batons/ASPs and the TASER.

    In my day you didn't say jack o' lantern to a cop.
    What's your name? Name
    Where do you live? <Insert neighborhood>
    What are you doing here? Buying cigs/pop/candy/waiting for the bus/walking to work

    But man you talk smack to the cops. Try to tussle with the cops. Put/keep your hands in your pockets where they can't see them. And basically act a fool.
    Man you better have Blue Cross and a dental plan, or be somebodys son or daughter.
    I cannot believe how many people these days are straight up resisting with force/violence questioning, detention, and/or arrest and as a result finding themselves splayed out on the floor shakin like squashed ant. Moms, dads, grandparents, kids on skateboards, everybody.
    Fighting with a gang of cops in the mall in uniform who are giving you commands, and threatening to punch one of them too?!!!
    Nah, that ain't gonna work. Nowhere never no time.

    I guess folks momma and pops aren't letting them know like ours did in the day as we were coming up. For that matter I can't recall the last time I saw some kids outside, playing..muchless playing Freeze Tag.
    Too bad for them and it seems all the better for TASER corporation shareholders.

    - Janq

    "Five-O said; 'Freeze!'. And so I got froze." - Chuck D, 'Public Enemy #1'
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

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  12. #12
    Member Array BlackBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergeant Mac View Post
    Unless there was a drive-stun applied, Lemon didn't actually take a "Taser ride", as the circuit would not be complete.

    Also, was his wife interfering? At an 8-degree angle, with a 25-foot range, I can't see the probes being any more than 3 feet apart.
    That's exactly what I was thinking. I was reading the article and when I got to the part about one probe hitting the man and the other his wife I was like "So, he didn't really get TASERed, he just got barbed."

    Compliance is the name of the game, though theoretically the situation could have gone down like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by TravisABQ View Post
    I"HANDSUPHANDSONYOURHEADGETONTHEGROUND NOWYOUSCUMBAGNOWISAID!!!!!!!!"

    Suspect who was eating his gelato and laughing at something his wife said, astutely says, "huh? what?!"

    Police: "zzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZT!!"

    --Travis--
    In which you're screwed anyway.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array cmidkiff's Avatar
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    I'm no cop... have no desire to be... but I do have respect for those who make a commitment to 'protect and serve' as they say. Unfortunately, there are a small percentage of boys in blue who seem to want nothing more out of life than to ride herd on us civilians. You can't let these few cast their shadow across the entire honorable profession of law enforcement!

    I wasn't there, didn't see it, and couldn't comment on the actions of these particular officers... but I'd have to give them the benefit of doubt. They're story is reasonable.

    'Man with Gun' calls have to be taken seriously. Even though there are now a good number of men with guns who are legal and peaceful, you still can't ignore the call. A guy who matches the description given in a 'man with gun' call needs to be questioned. He may be guilty of nothing more than looking like the guy they're after, but he still needs to be questioned. The police officer wants to go home that night, just like the rest of us. He has to treat the situation seriously, and assume that the guy does have a gun, and is willing to use it. To approach the situation assuming he is harmless would be stupid, and could end in tragedy all the way around.

    So, put yourself in that guy's shoes. You're a cop, so you can't just walk away, as most of us would do... you've got a guy that might have a gun, who has his hand in his pocket, and is not responding to commands... a taser might just be the right option. Once again, I wasn't there, didn't see it, and really don't know, but the guy deserves the benefit of doubt.

    There were plenty of witnesses, and likely a video camera... I'm sure if the cops were not acting appropriately, it'll turn up in court.

    I see no reason why a law abiding citizen shouldn't co-operate with law enforcement. Let the officer do his job. If you are abused, or have your rights violated during the process, there will be time later to file a complaint. Resistance will only make matters worse.
    Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. It's worth it.

  14. #14
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    The man's attitude dictated how he would be handled.

    If I'm approached and told not to move by an identifiable LEO, then I do as I am told. I have nothing to hide and the easier I make it, the sooner it will be over.

    Now if I am jumped without warning, for no reason that I am aware of, knowing that it is a LEO, then I still do nothing except contemplate the new car I am going to be buying...

    The guy was not wise to resist...the officer had no choice but to react to resistance with force!

    OMO

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  15. #15
    Member Array mslaughtertx's Avatar
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    As someone who has been an LEO for sometime, I can say there are cases when some fellow LEOs used too much force. With everything going on these days (i.e. mall shootings, school shootings, bomb calls, etc.) it does make it difficult for a cop to successfully asses a situation. We are effected by the media just like everyone else. Though, in this situation it is much better to use the taser on the guy if he is not compliant, then to try and wrestle him. Most times when I have to go toe to toe with a noncompliant suspect he ends up in worse condition then if I could just taser him.

    I believe the taser is a tool that all officers should be adequately trained with. Though in most situations where they use it without reserve of force, they are not trained properly.

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