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."
“I dont recognize my nation anymore.”
I don’t live in the country that I was born and raised in - but I didn’t move. Weird.
Actual photgragh taken before tazing incident
Obviosly the guy was out of control :-/
I know you are kidding (especially in this economy), but it is worth stating clearly that cops aren't all sadists, and there are good cops who are very valuable to their communities. I hope they are more common than I think they are.
So, who will protect us then?
How 'bout the good cops protect us from the bad cops, and we protect ourselves from the criminals?
I don't even recognize many of my neighbors anymore. I am only sure that they are not who I thought they were.
Like Washington warned: government is only force.
Government finds it very easy to give its armed agents a pass at the use of force. As in this outrageous case, everything can be solved by force. Tasers make using that force easier so it lowers the bar and lazy police will reach for their trusty Taser rather than taking a more peaceful option that might be more work.
Indeed; I pray we will turn back and heed President Washington’s wisdom.
How dare someone man up and try to help out! That’s for the government to do!
Me neither, and I was born in 1970.
If there were any good cops there would not be any bad cops.
“Good” cops who do not arrest, charge and testify against the abuses
they witness other LEO commit are not !good cops” they are every bit
as bad as the ones who commit the crimes under color of authority.
“He said he doesn’t understand why police shot him with a Taser that night...”
Uh...because they’re a bunch of ignorant a-holes in uniforms with guns pretending to be cops - and not succeeding very well.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of dumb buttheads like this around these days.
Were I on a grand jury I’d refuse toindict.Were I on a jury I’d vote to acquit.
Give ya a medal for punching out the bastard.
That was my thought. Why weren't these tough men helping save residents' property???? Not in their union contract?
Did you really think we want those laws observed? said Dr. Ferris. We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with. - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged 1957
Apparently not. Heck, even “Barney Fife” would haven’t been standing around waiting for the “appropriate government employees” in event of a fire, especially not one in real danger of spreading to other houses.
Anarcho-tyranny is the best concept I’ve seen to cover what you are describing.
Threatening this homeowner with prosecution for obstruction is a great example of the general concept.
Why did they taze him? They could have just shot his dog like most wannabe police seem to do these days.
This is BS - the man was on private property, they had no right to stop him, let alone assault him.
I think it means six minutes after the tasing.
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws." Ayn Rand, ATLAS SHRUGGED
The nerve of some people. While they try to save the house from burning down the cops do NOTHING except wait to taser the guy because he chose to do something like saving the house.
I suppose the cop was pissed that there was no dog to shoot.
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