Police Tase Elderly Diabetic Man

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

A 78-year-old diabetic man who was suffering from low blood sugar was Tased twice by police in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

On Feb. 1, authorities received reports of a man crashing his vehicle into some parked cars, but Officer Andre Wassouf saw the man driving away.

The man apparently ignored the officer’s orders to stop the car, Deputy Police Chief Corey MacDonald told Seacoast Online.

"He then drove forward and struck another vehicle with no one in it," MacDonald said. "The officer continued telling the driver to stop his car as the driver continued to back up and pull forward in the store parking lot.”

The man then backed his car into a police cruiser, causing minor damage, and the driver was told he was under arrest.

"The officer, believing the car was now in park, attempted to pull the 215-pound driver from the car," MacDonald said. "However, he was unsuccessful and the vehicle continued to move as it was in neutral. The officer drew his Taser and advised the driver several times that he was under arrest and to get out of the car, but he refused."

MacDonald said Wassouf saw the man lean into the passenger’s seat “as if to retrieve something.”

"The officer, fearing the driver was going for a weapon, Tased him," MacDonald said. "The driver continued to not comply with orders to submit to the arrest and was Tased a second time. This allowed the officer to finally take control of the situation and get the driver into handcuffs.”

At that point, it was discovered the man was very weak and suffering from low blood sugar. 

Low blood sugar in diabetics can mimic behavioral problems or alcohol abuse.

The man’s handcuff’s was removed and he was given treatment at the scene; his condition quickly improved and he was then transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

The man was not charged with any crimes.

"Upon initial review, though the incident is regrettable for all involved, the officer appears to have used reasonable non-lethal force to end a potentially dangerous situation," said MacDonald. "Our police officers are not paramedics. They are charged with bringing dangerous situations under control. This driver could just as easily have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or engaging in willful criminal conduct.”

The officer will face a formal review into his actions.

Source: Seacoast Online Image via Melissa Johnson/Flickr