Published Date: 06.05.2015
An investigation by the Police Ombudsman’s Office has concluded that police were right to use Taser against a man who attacked officers with a wine bottle and a kettlebell weight.
The incident happened in Carrickfergus on 15 June 2014, after police responded to two 999 calls that a man with an iron bar was acting aggressively and attempting to gain entry to a property.
A police Armed Response Unit was sent to deal with the incident, and found the man at a house nearby. Officers told Police Ombudsman investigators that as they attempted to enter the premises, the man attacked them with a wine bottle in one hand and the kettlebell weight in the other.
One officer said that he discharged Taser after being struck with the wine bottle. He said the Taser struck its target and caused the man to fall to the ground, but he quickly got back to his feet and continued threatening the officers.
A second officer then discharged Taser, which again caused the man to fall to the ground before he retreated from the hallway into the nearby living room.
Officers followed and managed to detain him. He was then given medical treatment before being taken into custody at Antrim Police Station.
As well as the receiving accounts from the officers involved, Police Ombudsman investigators also spoke to a civilian witness who described having seen a man with an iron bar acting in a threatening manner.
Police documentation was reviewed, including training records which confirmed that the officers who used Taser were properly trained and authorised to do so. Information from the electronic memories of the Tasers was consistent with the accounts provided by the officers.
The Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, concluded that the use of Taser during the incident had been lawful, proportionate and necessary.