Jimmy Albert Wyatt, 45, was fast asleep in his car, parked in a spot in front of a Walmart. Port Richey police were given a false report that Wyatt was a fugitive. They attempted to confirm the report but they were unable to find any firm evidence that the report was true (ah, perhaps because it was false). But in spite of this, three police arrived and tried to wake Wyatt.
Please keep in mind that as we join the report, Mr. Wyatt is fast asleep.
...the officers stood at Wyatt's window, trying to wake him. He didn't stir. They opened his car door and shook him. That's when ... Wyatt said, "F--- you," and struck his palm into Sgt. Kern's chest. [LINK]
Now, wouldn't any rational person immediately jump to the conclusion that Mr. Wyatt perhaps wasn't expecting to be rudely awoken from his deep slumber at oh-dark-hundred in the middle of the night? Obviously the officer should step back and protect himself, but an instinctive reaction and movement under these circumstances hardly constitutes intentional action. And that should be bleedingly obvious to anyone.
The officers ripped Wyatt from the car. Officer Donald Velsor fired a taser into his lower abdomen. Officer Justin Lee fired at Wyatt's stomach and collarbone. Kern issued a "drive stun" shock to his hip. All told, Wyatt was struck with three taser shocks within three minutes of the officers' arrival. They charged him with battery on a law enforcement officer after the palm strike...
Perhaps this department should invest $20 in a large wind-up alarm clock with the two old-fashioned bells on top. Set it to ring in a minute or two, place it on the dashboard of the subject's car, and then (this is important) back away out of arm's length before the alarm clock rings.
More seriously, it's plain stupid to:
1) Be within an arm's length when waking a stranger from a deep sleep. You don't know what their reaction may be; perhaps they're in the middle of REM sleep and are vividly dreaming about 'who-knows-what?'. Use common sense...
2) And equally stupid to interpret the reaction to being awoken as anything more than what it is - a probably unintentional response. The correct reaction by the police Sgt (having put himself into this situation) should have been to step back and say, "Whoa there fella! Police."
Anyway, the department is reviewing the actions of the police officers involved in this incident. [ibid]
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