Man Tasered by Police at Salad Bar
March 3, 2005 -- -- Aurora, Colo., police have reviewed a weekend incident in which a man accused of taking salad he hadn't paid for from a Chuck E. Cheese salad bar was hit with a stun gun and said that proper procedures were followed.
The case is one of many recent incidents across the country in which the use of stun guns has been questioned.
In Florida, State Attorney Harry Shorstein said Wednesday that Jacksonville police may have used excessive force when they twice shocked a 65-pound, 13-year-old girl with a 50,000-volt Taser on Feb. 7.
According to the sheriff's department report on the incident, the girl, who was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car, had been taken into custody for fighting with her mother and was being uncooperative.
Two weeks later, the Jacksonville sheriff's office suspended its use of the stun guns, after having paid $1.8 million to equip the force.
In Nevada, lawmakers are debating whether to limit the right of the public to have stun guns as makers of the weapons step up their efforts to market them outside law enforcement.
The bill would make it illegal to use a stun gun except in self-defense and would bar felons, fugitives and people suffering certain types of mental illness from owning or using them. Children would be allowed to have stun guns only with parental consent and would be allowed to use them only in their own home.
Critics of the bill said its controls are not tight enough, and suggested that parents should be held accountable if a child misuses one.
The devices fire two hooks that attach to a person's skin or clothes and administer a 50,000-volt charge, generally for five seconds, though in some incidents police have acknowledged shocking a suspect for up to three times that long.
Though the weapons have been touted as non-lethal and are used by about 6,000 police, military and corrections departments across the country, stun guns have been responsible for more than 70 deaths since 2001, according to a recent report by Amnesty International.