POLICE

Use of taser credited in saving Te Kuiti offender's life

Friday 18 June 2010, 4:36PM
By New Zealand Police
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TE KUITI

Waikato Police and medical experts are crediting the use of a taser as being instrumental in the saving of a man's life in Te Kuiti early this morning.

Western Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Paul Carpenter, said Police were called to Te Kuiti's main street shortly after midnight.

"Ambulance staff had been called about an aggressive man bleeding heavily from an injured arm, our staff arrived to provide protection for the ambulance officers and observed the man acting in a threatening manner in the area of the railway tracks in the centre of town.

"Not realising the man had caused himself an arterial bleed to his right arm when he had smashed a window our staff decided to use a taser in the interest of ensuring the safety of themselves and the medical staff."

Mr Carpenter said it was only when the man had been taken by ambulance to Te Kuiti Hospital that it became apparent just how seriously injured the man was.

"Doctors informed our staff that he had suffered an arterial bleed and had he not been subdued by the use of a taser in all likelihood he would have bled out."

"The fact that the taser is now available to our staff means they are able to positively intervene in serious situations with a dependable, non-lethal tactical option ensuring the safety of not only themselves and the public but the offender as well."

Known to Police and with a history of mental health issues, the 36-year-old offender was later transferred to Waikato Hospital where this afternoon he was awaiting specialist surgery for the injury to his arm.

"Not long ago a young man in Ngaruawahia tragically lost his life in very similar circumstances to what happened in Te Kuiti this morning when he suffered an arterial bleed after smashing a window.

"The officers involved in today's incident have every reason to feel proud of their actions in ensuring not only their own safety and that of other emergency services staff but that their timely intervention has had a direct impact in saving this man's life," said Mr Carpenter.