Thursday, March 29, 2007
Reported by: Stacy Daniel
A Paso Robles teenager is shot with a taser after police said he was caught stealing booze from a local store.
Here are the facts first.
Wednesday, March 28 around 5p.m., police responded to a shoplifting call at Von's in Atascadero.
When the suspect was confronted he made a threatening gesture toward the officer.
He was shot with a taser but still managed to break free.
The teen was finally taken into custody with help from a customer.
It took the use of a taser, help from a Good Samaritan and an off duty police officer to get the 17-year-old suspect into custody.
Cops call a taser the most valuable tool they have to safely subdue a suspect.
Shooting out 50,000 volts of electricity, tasers are routinely used in officer training to teach cops how to bring a suspect into custody safely.
Officers said the use of this non-lethal weapon is what helped them capture a teen suspected of shoplifting from a local grocery store.
"The last thing we want to do is have a shooting go down over the theft of alcohol or that type of stuff in a crowded store," said Atascadero Police Lieutenant Jim Mulhall.
Cops said when the teen was confronted he made a threatening move, toward the officer.
She hit him a taser and the suspect dropped to the ground.
"As he hit the ground one of the barbs from the taser pulled loose and he was able to jump up and run away," said Mulhall.
An off duty police officer heard the commotion and jumped into action, along with a Good Samaritan.
"As the suspect ran out, he was running down the street and a citizen actually caught the suspect in a body hit and the person went down and the officer and the off duty officer were able to take the individual into custody," said Mulhall.
The arrest netted a bigger catch than the cops had suspected.
"It turns out he has a no bail felony warrant out of Paso Robles. He was an escapee from a group home and had been on the run for three or four months before being captured last night," said Mulhall.
The off duty officer and two witnesses received minor injuries when the suspect attempted to get away.
Two 15-year-old boys, who are friends of the suspect, were also taken into custody.
The suspect is charged with four felonies and one misdemeanor.
The two 15-year-olds are charged with two felonies and conspiracy to commit a felony and burglary.