CANADA – Calgary Cop who used Taser on senior feared for his safety (2011-04-27)

Published on April 27 2011 by admin

[[SUMMARY / COMMENTS: “Const. Daryn Swanson said he made several attempts to subdue Aitchley Ferguson, aged 74, on April 17, 2009, but the suspect continued to resist him… The constable told his provincial court trial Ferguson created a hazard by refusing to remain in his car, leaving the officer to fear he was in danger, … after noting he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt…” ]]

Edmonton Sun, by KEVIN MARTIN

CALGARY – The Calgary cop who used a Taser on an elderly man after pulling him over for not wearing a seatbelt says he did so after fearing for his safety.

Const. Daryn Swanson said Wednesday he made several attempts to subdue Aitchley Ferguson on April 17, 2009, but the suspect continued to resist him.

The constable told his provincial court trial Ferguson created a hazard by refusing to remain in his car, leaving the officer to fear he was in danger.

Swanson said he initially pulled Ferguson, then 74, over after noting he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

But he told defence lawyer Willie deWit he eventually had to arrest Ferguson after the suspect refused to remain in his car while he processed the traffic stop.

“I thought because he’s interfering with my ability to write up his ticket that I would arrest him for obstruction,” Swanson testified.

Swanson, 30, a seven-year member of the Calgary Police Service, faces charges of assault with a weapon and causing bodily harm.

He said throughout his dealings with the complainant, Ferguson was unco-operative and resisted his attempts to return him to his vehicle.

And after Swanson decided to detain Ferguson and place him in his police cruiser, the senior became even more combative.

Over the next several minutes Ferguson fought back as the officer attempted to bring him to the ground and handcuff him.

“The situation (was) escalating,” Swanson said. “I said, ‘You’re under arrest, stop resisting and get on your stomach’,” he said.

After getting one armed cuffed, Swanson became concerned when Ferguson was able to slip his grip, effectively putting a weapon in his hand – the metal restraints.

“I felt quite uncomfortable and scared,” he said.

When Ferguson grasped the loose end of the cuffs “around his fingers like a pair of brass knuckles,” Swanson thought, “I gotta get control of this guy before I get hurt.”

At that point he decided he had to use his electronic restraining device.

“I was physically exhausted and I felt I couldn’t struggle with this individual any longer,” he told deWit.

Judge Gordon Deck will consider written submissions from deWit and Crown prosecutor Julie Snowdon before handing down a ruling on Sept. 1.

http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2011/04/27/18075331.html

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