08/12/2009

Wyo. chief criticizes officers who used TASER on 76-year-old

Associated Press

GLENROCK, Wyo. — Glenrock Police Chief Tom Sweet said two officers "probably didn't do things the best way" when they used a Taser on a 76-year-old man driving an antique tractor in a parade. Sweet spoke at a packed town hall meeting Monday, nine days after Bud Grose was hit with a Taser during the town's annual Deer Creek Days.

The officers are on paid leave while state Division of Criminal Investigation agents investigate.

Mayor Steve Cielinski and most of the Town Council apologized to residents and asked for patience. Cielinski promised the findings will be made public.

"If we have to stand up and take it on the chin, we will," Cielinski said.

State investigator Tim Hill has said the two officers contend Grose disobeyed orders. Grose hasn't commented publicly, however, and investigators have not disclosed many details of what happened.

Sweet originally said it didn't appear any policies were violated.

Some at Monday's meeting called for the two officers to be fired. Several people who witnessed the event told the crowd police repeatedly shocked Grose with a taser.

"Those two were the most out-of-control officers I've ever seen in my life," said Scott McWilliams, a witness who said he was shoved by one of the officers. "These two guys got to go."

Mike Pyatt, a former Glenrock police officer, called on town leaders to make changes at the department.

"We will hold you accountable," he said.

Sweet, however, said he won't act before receiving the DCI report, expected by the beginning of next week.

"I don't want to take a knee-jerk reaction now," he said.

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