October Festival Guide

Investigation opens after Fredericksburg officer Tasers suspect

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WTVR) – Fredericksburg Police have opened an internal investigation after an officer used a Taser on a suspect Saturday night.

The incident started with a hit and run on Hanover Street, Fredericksburg police said.  At 7:30 p.m. a witnesses called 911 after seeing a Buick hit five parked cars.

The driver fled the scene on foot, but the first officer to arrive on scene found the passenger, Lantz Day, at the corner of Hanover and Caroline Streets.

“The officer had the guy on the ground face down telling him calmly, ‘Sir, this is just a traffic accident, stay down let us figure this out,'” Michael Rosario, who witnessed the incident, said.

Police said Day refused to comply, and in video taken by a witness, you can see the suspect laid out on the ground initially, then he attempts to flee until the officer uses his Taser on him.

In the video what appears to be the electric, snapping sound of the Taser is heard for 42-seconds, as Day yells in the background.

Fredericksburg Police spokeswoman, Natatia Bledsoe, said a single trigger pull and release of a taser delivers a five second charge.

Bledsoe said a sustained charge with the Taser is not prohibited, but the department is reviewing the entire incident to determine if a sustained charge would be appropriate.

When asked Bledsoe provided Fredericksburg.com with the department’s use of force policy, which states that, “A subject fleeing from an officer, by itself, is not justification for the Taser to be deployed and is prohibited.”

Day was arrested for obstruction of justice. Police say the officer involved is currently on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure.

VIDEO BY USER ROBOH0830 CAPTURES THE INCIDENT:

10 comments

  • Angela Snell

    Those who think this is O.K. are ignorant, this officer is a thug, no better than the thug he tazed. Think about the police abuses going on in this country right now, this could have killed this man and all over a hitting a few parked cars?

    • Carmen Borden

      what i don’t think is ok is for this guy to ram into 5 parked cars then flee. i would imagine that he was likely drunk. it looked as though all would have been fine with regards to the arrest, until he decided to try and run away. that being said, i really didn’t have a problem with him being tased. it was the lenght of tasing that’s somewhat drastic. if that amount of time is not protocal, then he was/is wrong. now, think of it this way, what if it were your car? and to run into 5 cars then flee then try and get away again, who knows what this guys was capable of. but, i don’t feel bad for him at all.

  • shawn

    the guy was wrong for trying to flee buttttt the only reason this is getting any news air time is bc he is a colored male. if it was a white guy nothing would have been said\

  • Michael Santos

    If a cop says get on the ground and don’t move, the time for debate it over. If you feel your rights are being violated, then talk to an attorney afterwards. I don’t have any sympathy for tasered person at all.

    • Carmen Borden

      it depends on why you’re being tased. in this case, i don’t care that he was tased, he was wrong to begin with and he was stupid to try and run. he ought to be glad they didn’t mistake the taser for a gun like the idiot police did in N.Y.

  • NotaBumpkin

    I can only describe to you my direct knowledge of Fredericksburg officers, from the 10 years I lived there. Each & every one struck me as ‘second rate’ — the type of guys that you’d just *know* wouldn’t last on the police force of a larger city (such as Richmond) that has a lot more stress & action. It’s best way I can describe them in words.

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