Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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July 3, 2012

Cop may lose job after Tasing patient

PERU, Ind. — A police officer may lose his job after he used a Taser to subdue a nursing home patient with advanced-stage Alzheimer’s.

Police were called after staff became concerned that James Howard, 64, had become combative and struck several employees.

Upon arrival, the two officers ordered Howard to enter an ambulance. Officer Gregory Martin then reached for his Taser as another officer tried to restrain Howard. That’s when Martin fired the electric-charged device that struck Howard, knocking him to the floor.

The struggle continued and Martin used his Taser two more times.

Police Chief Steve Hoover said Martin used extreme force, a violation of department code, in subduing the nursing home patient. He recommended to the Board of Public Works that Martin be terminated.

The officer can now request a hearing before the board and present his case. If he doesn’t, the officer will be terminated.

Two other officers involved in the run did not violate department policy, the chief said.

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Details for this story were provided by The Kokomo (Ind.) Tribune.

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