Taser instrumental in officer avoiding injury in Thames standoff

Friday 18 March 2011, 7:53AM
By New Zealand Police


Eastern Waikato Police believe the availability of a Taser and its use prevented serious injury to one of their staff confronted by a group of men in Thames overnight.

Thames Sub-Area Manager, Senior Sergeant Graham Shields, said an officer was called to
an incident shortly before 1am.

On arrival the officer was confronted by three men who threatened him. One of the men attempted to attack the officer, who then discharged the Taser. The officer was able to retreat to his vehicle whilst the others threw various missiles at him.

"In accordance with established best practice the officer withdrew from the scene to await the arrival of back-up at the Thames station, as he waited for other staff to arrive he noticed the original offender outside the Police Station, armed with a metal bar.

"The offender left a short time later and was located by Police at his home address and arrested for possession of an offensive weapon, further charges are likely."

Mr Shields said the availability of the Taser and its use played a major part in preventing injury not only to the officer but to the offender as well.

"The officer involved was alone when confronted by the group and only used the Taser when attempts to communicate with the man failed. This is exactly the sort of situation that Taser is intended for. The officer was able to defend himself against a violent offender armed with a weapon, the offender was temporarily incapacitated but has no long term injuries".

The Constable suffered only minor bruising to his shins from items thrown at him.