05/02/2002

Police Praise Stun-Gun Use as Alternative

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Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (04/26/02) P. 6B; Kraus, Kevin; Hijek, Barbara

Boca Raton, Fla., police officers began using the M-26 Advanced Taser gun last fall. The device delivers a 50,000-volt, five-second charge to a suspect, and is most useful in situations that do not require use of deadly force, such as subduing violent suspects that are not carrying weapons. The Boca Raton police department has used the Taser a total of 10 times. A recent departmental investigation found Sgt. Mick Carrasquel did not use excessive force, but failed to follow proper procedure when he used the Taser gun on Vito Bucario, who suffered cuts and bruises after collapsing from the charge. Carrasquel was attempting to aid police officer Michael Michel in subduing Bucario, who struggled as Michel attempted to lead him to his cruiser. Carrasquel used the Taser gun after seeing Bucario attempt to kick Michel, but investigators said he should of instead tried to physically aid Michel in escorting Bucario to the car. Bucario was arrested for loitering and prowling charges on Feb. 1 of this year. Carrasquel was suspended 36 hours without pay for the incident.
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