Chief: tasers don't affect everyone equally - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Chief: tasers don't affect everyone equally

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

Within the past week, multiple Jonesboro police officers have learned the hard way that Tasers do not always work like they should.

On May 10, Jonesboro police attempted to stop a reckless driver on the highway.

After he refused to cooperate, the suspect was tased twice. It didn't affect him. The man later stole a cop car and led police on a chase to Bay.

"They're supposed to check their equipment before they go to work, so if the Taser is doing what it's supposed to be doing, sometimes it's just the individual," Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said.

On Monday night, it happened again.

According to an incident report, officers responded to St. Bernards Behavioral Health for an unruly patient.

According to the report, officers attempted to tase Matthew Hatley as many as five times.

Each time, the Taser had minimal or no effect on him.

"Sometimes if they don't get both barbs in, it's not as effective," Chief Elliott explained.

In Hatley's case, both barbs did hit him.

"Their adrenaline level gets so high and their strength gets way up there and they're hard to deal with and you can't reason with them." Chief Elliott said. "It just becomes a physical combat at times. Officers get hurt and the people they're dealing with get hurt. It's a problem."

Chief Elliott said that's why each officer has multiple other tools to use like chemical sprays, batons and bean bag munitions.

If it comes down to it, sometimes multiple officers must work together to subdue a person who won't comply.

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