Deputies tase intoxicated man
March 15, 2013
A man charged with criminal mischief and a DUI was tased by deputies for resisting arrest on Thursday, March 7.
Deputies had responded a short time before to a domestic violence call in the Snyderville Basin.
Brandyn McCormick Harvey, 35, from Midway, allegedly damaged the victim’s car during an argument before leaving the scene.
Deputies located Harvey on Silver Summit Parkway and pulled him over. When deputies approached the car, they could smell alcohol. Harvey submitted to and failed the field sobriety tests.
"When the suspect was being placed in handcuffs, he decided he wanted to resist," Summit County Sheriff’s Capt. Justin Martinez said. "He punched an officer in the face and the Taser was deployed."
Deputies are authorized to use Tasers during escape attempts; to apprehend a suspect; or to protect themselves, another officer or a civilian from getting hurt, Martinez said.
"We’re first going to want to talk to people," he said. "If we can talk them into the handcuffs when they’re under arrest, that’s the best thing for everybody. No one gets hurt. But in this instance, the suspect was on the way back to his vehicle. If he had gotten into his vehicle, we would then have a pursuit with a DUI."
Martinez said that after punching the deputy, the suspect would do everything he could to avoid being apprehended.
"So because it was a fighting situation at that point, the tasing was authorized," he said.
Tasers target skeletal muscles without affecting cardiac or "smooth" muscles, such as the intestines, according to Martinez.
"Some people think, if you can’t control your muscles, you’re going to defecate or pee yourself, but it doesn’t affect that muscle group," he said. "It interferes with the mind’s ability to control the skeletal muscles, so it prevents people from walking or fighting anymore. You can’t use your hands because it locks them up, but you are still fully cognitive to what is going on around you."
Most deputies are tased themselves as part of the training to be Taser certified.
When the Taser trigger is pulled, two probes attached to wires are released from the Taser. Electricity is transmitted through the wires to the subject.
"We use whatever tools necessary to affect an arrest," Martinez said. "We try to use the minimum force required for an arrest, but ultimately we want to take a suspect into custody as safely as possible, while protecting them and us from further harm. And the Taser is one of many tools to affect a safe arrest."
Harvey faces several charges, including three counts of class A misdemeanor assault against a police officer, class B misdemeanor driving under the influence, class B misdemeanor possession or use of a controlled substance, class B misdemeanor possession or use of drug paraphernalia, class B misdemeanor criminal mischief: intentional damage of property and class C misdemeanor open container in a vehicle on the highway.
Harvey is scheduled for an initial court appearance on March 18.