Police use Taser in struggle with Alzheimer’s sufferer

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A MAN suffering from Alzheimer’s disease was shot by police with a Taser during a struggle as he refused to go into care.

Police said the 59-year-old farmer became “extremely violent” when a doctor called for help while trying to section him under the Mental Health Act. He was shot with the stun gun after struggling with three officers, but ripped the barbs out and had to be physically restrained until more police arrived at the scene in Epworth, North Lincolnshire, on March 6.

Two officers suffered minor injuries.

The Alzheimer’s Society has said it was “very alarmed” by the use of the weapon against someone with the condition, which it said must have been “particularly distressing” for him.

Locality manager Sarah Moody added: “People with dementia can sometimes exhibit extreme agitation which can be difficult to understand and cope with for those who encounter it.

This unfortunate incident illustrates a lack of understanding in society of dementia and the best way to support and help people who are affected by this devastating condition.”

Chief Supt David Hilditch, of Humberside Police, said: “It’s very sad that this gentleman had to be restrained through the use of a Taser but the officers were faced with a significant level of violence. It is to their credit that they successfully restrained the 59-year-old man without injury to himself and took him to a place of safety to be treated.”

The use of Tasers against people with illnesses has been criticised, with West Yorkshire police coming under fire for using the device during an arrest on a man with epilepsy last year, and on another who was twice stunned with 50,000 volts after slipping into a diabetic coma on a bus in Leeds.