Thu 13 May, 2010 08:38 am
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - An Albuquerque police officer used his Taser on a man after he threw his walker at the officer Monday in Downtown Albuquerque. A surveillance camera from Civic Plaza caught the entire incident on tape.
It all started when a Civic Plaza security guard approached Ricky Smith, 47, as he was laying down on a bench, his walker by his side. The security guards and police officers know Smith well. The homeless man has been arrested 27 times for crimes like disorderly conduct and aggravated battery on a police officer, according to Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz.
"Many of his arrests are for those types of crimes," Chief Schultz said. "Overly aggressive, pan handling and causing the problems we are trying to clean up downtown."
Knowing his history, the security officer told Smith to move along. According to a criminal complaint, Smith started shouting the "f-word" about police and Albuquerque and said he was not "going nowhere." An APD officer arrived on the scene and also told Smith to get moving. Several minutes passed and Smith did not leave. The officer then walked up to Smith and told him to sit up.
"He didn't want to follow the officers directions, [Smith] wanted to continue with the obscene language and causing the problems that he was," Schultz said.
The officer then tried to move Smith's legs to sit him up. Smith quickly pulled away and the officer tried again. Then Smith, still sitting down, grabbed his walker and threw it at the officer, hitting him in the shin. The officer fired his Taser but the electric prongs got stuck in Smith's clothes and did not work.
"A city security guard at that time also assisted and maced Mr. Smith," Schultz said.
The mace spray hit Smith in the forehead. Next the APD officer moved in closer and Tasered Smith in the upper chest at point blank. Smith fell to the ground. He was handcuffed and sent to the hospital.
"He made the decision to assault the officer and the officer has the right to defend himself as does anybody else," Chief Schultz said.
Smith is now behind bars for attacking the police officer with his walker. He was charged with aggravated battery on a police officer. Chief Ray Schultz said the officer was just defending himself, but added APD will review the case to make sure the use of force was justified.
It sems to me the use of a taser in this situation was probably not justified, however the perp will likely think twice before failing to obey directions from a police officer next time.
"Tune ups" seem common in Albeturkey?
This seems to be a chronic thing with this guy.
Isn't there any agency that would have come and attended him?
Surely there must be places that he could be referred to, by force, if needed.
The officers seem frustrated with him. Was not handled well, at all IMHO.
cranky people with walkers are not all that easy to get along with, or so I'm told. Lady Diane keeps her cattle prod handy around the house but I gave up the walker months ago and now totally rely on my cane.
What is that wrong with a homeless man lying down on a bench? Where is he to go should he "move along?" Should he carry a sign, "Homeless, taking a nap." ?
No, this was not handled well by police.
homeless folks are not allowed on the benches, everyone knows that.
they are to stay out of sight and mind of the nice people who pay their taxes.
if this had not accidently been picked up on a security camera, we'd have never heard about it. (like the 27 other times)
A man with a walker, aggravated battery on a police officer. Was the police officer in a wheelchair?
That old police chief, he sure is an eloquent guy?