Skip to comments.Florida man describes being shot by police Taser as he sprayed fire with garden hose
Posted on 11/14/2012 8:00:59 PM PST by Altariel
PINELLAS PARK -- The fire was all around Dan Jensen.
He could see it. He could smell it. He could hear it.
It was close enough to touch. It was burning down his neighbor's house. It was creeping toward Jensen's own fence 10 feet away, and he started spraying the fire with his hose.
Police ordered Jensen to get back, and he complied.
But after a few minutes passed without firefighters arriving, a frustrated Jensen stepped forward and leaned down to grab the skinny gray garden hose once again.
That's when he heard the order.
"Hit 'em! Take him down! Tase him!"
Within moments, Jensen was on the ground. He felt electric.
"It was all over me," Jensen said. "Crawling all over me."
The 42-year-old commercial fisherman is still struggling to comprehend exactly how things deteriorated so quickly Thursday. He said he doesn't understand why police shot him with a Taser that night as he tried to battle a house fire at 3420 Beechwood Ter. N.
Jensen's family, friends and neighbors have been quick to defend him and accuse police of crossing a line.
"It was wrong," he said. "There's no way around it. I was fighting a fire. I wasn't fighting police. I thought they were here to help me. Instead, they hurt me."
Police said they can sympathize with the stress Jensen was under. But they said he put himself and officers in danger when he refused to back down from fighting the fire.
Pinellas Park Capt. Sanfield Forseth told the Tampa Bay Times authorities could have even charged Jensen with obstruction, but decided against it.
Jensen's attorney, Heidi Imhof, said she believes authorities are trying to deflect attention from their actions that night. She called the Taser use "excessive force."
"They can't just Taser anyone," she said. "He's an unarmed person on his private property trying to fight a fire."
Imhof said the officers had other options. They could have yanked Jensen away, she said, or just turned off the water.
The agency's policy says officers must issue a warning before using a Taser, "except when such warning could provide a tactical advantage to the subject."
Imhof said her client was never warned.
Jensen said he's "disappointed" in police.
He said that when they arrived on the scene, they told him to back off and let insurance take care of it. He did for a few minutes but grew impatient and irate. He picked up the hose again because he thought firefighters weren't getting there soon enough.
Officials told the Times it took six minutes for fire fighters to respond.
"That's my home," Jensen said Monday, his voice breaking. "That's my family."
The various activities and scenarios DON'T FIT THE LIE AT ALL !
What irks me mist is that dangling over our heads are thousands of laws, of which no one—not regular citizens nor cops nor lawyers—has comprehensive knowledge, any one of which we can be guilty of at any moment. That, not absence of rules, represents the bad kind of anarchy. The worst are the elastic charges like obstruction, disorderly conduct, etc. through which cops on the scene become absolute dictators.
I pray the sadistic bastards that did this get raped repeatedly by their enormously well-endowed cell mates.
I’m all for the proper use of TASERs, but I would stipulate that the proper use is as an alternative to deadly force when deadly force is otherwise indicated.
sorta makes you wonder if when you see a fire or a crime in progress, should you do something about it or just stand by and watch?
water and volts don’t mix
“let insurance take care of it...”??
There was a day when cops would help fight the fire until the firetrucks arrived, even drag out people and kittens from the house.
Right there with you. I thought he had rigged a flamethrower using a water hose.
The cops were the only ones doing any obstructing!
Lucky for me, I live in same type of community. The local police and firemen are our friends and neighbors.
I remember seeing a fire in an apartment building. Me and my brother, who was driving, turned around and started knocking on doors to get people out of there.
We never got credit for anything, never even thought about it.
how were the police there first?
What’s left out of the story is a donut shop is right across the street.
And the context fit too! I mean, that he would have been tased for using such an ingenious homemade weapon. It had such potential for being a “God Bless America” moment. :(
But that way they couldn't have watched him twitching in agony on the ground. So cool!
Change the police department personnel policies to screen for sadists. Fire the sadists on the force (or at least keep them away from the public). Don't hire the sadists who want a badge for all the wrong reasons.
I said the good old US of A, not the people’s Republic of California. I live in Ohio. We ever start passing BS laws like that and we’ll be moving to Arizona.
It sounds like your local community still employs peace officers, not LEOs.
Peace officers are decreasing in number, as LEOs increase.
This shift is a bad one for liberty.
Tazers = Electric Whips
I don’t recognize my nation anymore.
Another THX 1138 moment brought to you by big government!
“Under new law Homeowners may face 6 years in prison and fines of $100,000 Dollars a Day for Washing Car in Driveway”
I followed that link because I thought that you were kidding.
You were not.
You know, the Russians made a big damn mistake letting East Germany go. I think that the entire Stasi wound up here.
No wonder property values in California crashed and will probably not come back in our lifetimes. Apparently, the only thing you can do in or around “your” (and I use the term loosely) house is sleep and store your car so that you can go to work and pay the mortgage and property taxes on it! What a deal!
And they claim that slavery was abolished!
“Change the police department personnel policies to screen for sadists.”
That won’t work, because then there won’t be nearly enough applicants. So, who will protect us then? :)