Tasering 'saved man's life'

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 05:00 14/06/2012

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Police say they saved a man's life by Tasering him before he could injure himself further during a drama in Stratford.

Senior Sergeant Darrin Haenga said police negotiated with the 36-year-old man for two hours on Tuesday night before going in after learning the man was seriously injured.

Mr Haenga said that at 7pm the man initially confronted police with a machete, but had a selection of other weapons.

"He had a number of weapons strategically placed around the house, and a number of knives in different rooms," he said.

Detective Guy Jackson, of Hawera, said normal police procedure would have been to use firearms, but it was decided Tasering the man gave him a better chance at surviving.

"Tasering this guy saved his life," he said.

He said the man was incoherent, screaming, and threatening.

"There was knives and blood everywhere; the scene was horrendous," said Mr Jackson, who ended up covered in the blood himself.

Mr Haenga said the man was taken to Taranaki Base Hospital by the ambulance and had since had surgery on his wound, which was self-inflicted.

Mr Jackson said police decided to force their way into the house because of fears the man was harming himself, having seen him with heavy bleeding around his stomach.

Mr Haenga said that at one point the man had asked for help.

"He had rung to say he was bleeding and needed help but when we got into the house he still had a knife and was threatening to stab the police officers if they came near him."

The man had been told to put the knife down but had refused and was then Tasered.

"He wasn't able to be reasoned with."

Police believe the man had been drinking since 9.30am, but it was unknown whether drugs were also involved.

Mr Haenga said the man's partner had fled the house and called police after a domestic dispute.

Police from Stratford, Hawera, Inglewood and New Plymouth attended, and the immediate area around the house was cordoned off.

Because the man had been taken to hospital he had been arrested and not yet been formally charged, but was likely to face various offences relating to weapons and threatening to kill, Mr Haenga said.

It was not known if the man had a history of substance abuse or mental illness.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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