PC draws 50,000-volt taser in 'shock and awe' tactics to restrain violent man who raised his fists at police
PUBLISHED: 14:00 16 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:19 17 June 2018
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A violent man who raised his fists at police after town centre fight was restrained with "shock and awe" tactics when a PC drew his 50,000-volt taser and threatened to fire.
PCs Rod Morrison and Pete Mallam were on a night shift when a taxi driver drove past them at Downham Market’s Whalebone pub and reported that a man was fighting with several people in the town centre.
The pair put on their vehicle’s blue lights and drove the short distance to the incident in Bridge Street, near the clock tower and Crown Hotel, where most of those present ran off - except for the man described by the taxi driver.
PC Morrison said the heavily built man, who was wearing a ripped black t-shirt, was in a “heightened state of emotions” and “raised his fists in fighting stance”.
Scared residents then watched as the man “moved towards PC Mallam, threatening to fight him”, PC Morrison said.
He added: “I reacted to the incident by drawing my taser and issuing a challenge: ‘Taser officer, 50,000 volts, stand still and place your hands on your head or you will be tasered.’
“This had desired effect and he instantly gave up the fight and allowed us to handcuff him.”
Residents who watched the shocking scenes unfold at around 11pm on Friday, June 15 later thanked the officers and told them they had been scared.
One man, who watched the incident from his flat window, even ran downstairs to shake the officers’ hands.
Although the police officers did not come to blows with the man, the incident serves as a reminder of the type of incidents police face.
PC Morrison, who was on a public order unit patrol - where officers deal with anti-social behaviour, fights, drunken behaviour and anything related to the night-time economy - said he and his colleagues face violence from members of the public towards police “daily”.
He added: “They see the person in uniform, but they don’t see the person behind the uniform.”
Although he stressed the majority of people are very friendly and that even some hardened criminals show officers respect, many of those who have not come into contact with police before are “normally quite violent towards us”.
He added: “The police has taken a bit of a battering in the media in general and people think they have free range.”
Attacks on police officers have been condemned by community leaders across Norfolk, with chief constable Simon Bailey describing it as “unacceptable”.
Between April 2017 and March 2018 515 assaults on police were recorded, including 113 of actual bodily harm and 19 of grievous bodily harm.