‘Police mistook my white stick for sword – so they tasered me’
POLICE who tasered a blind stroke victim after mistaking his white stick for a Samurai sword were forced into to apologise yesterday.
• Lancashire police had recieved reports of a man walking through the town of Chorley with a samurai sword
• Colin Farmer, a stroke victim, was tasered in the back after police mistook his white stick for the deadly weapon
• Mr Farmer is considering legal action against the force, who handcuffed him whilst he was collapsed on the ground despite his protestations
Colin Farmer, 61, was on his way to the pub at about 5:45pm last Friday for a night out with friends. But he was left in need of hospital treatment after a
police officer fired a Taser stun-gun into his back, sending a 50,000-volt jolt through his body.
Local authorities had been responding to reports of a man seen wandering the streets of Chorley, Lancashire, wielding a Samurai sword when they came upon Mr Farmer walking along Royle Road with his thin white cane in hand and confronted him.
The former property developer, who has survived two strokes since 2008, said he had heard a man shouting, but had no idea it was the police or that they were yelling at him.
Mr Farmer said: “I thought I was going to be attacked by some hooligans. The next thing they fire a Taser at me, though I didn’t know it was a Taser at the time.
“I just felt this thump in my back. As soon as the Taser hit me, I hit the ground.
“I hit my head on the floor, then this policeman came around. I said: ‘I’m blind, I’m blind. I’m blind’.
“This policeman knelt on me and dragged my arms round my back and handcuffed me so tight I’ve had bruises since.
“I said you’re hurting me, I’m blind – and there’s no way he could not have seen my stick on the floor.
“I walk at a snail’s pace. They could have walked past me, driven past me in the van, or said ‘drop your weapon’ … I was
“I thought any second I’m going to have another stroke and this one will kill me.”
Chief Superintendent Stuart Williams, of Lancashire Police, said one of his officers had discharged the Taser after the victim was asked to stop and failed to do so.
He said it had soon become apparent Mr Farmer was not the offender they were after.
A confused Mr Farmer was taken to Chorley Hospital for treatment and later released.
An internal investigation has been launched into the incident, with the matter also referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in an added embarrassment for the Lancashire Constabulary.
Chief Supt Williams said: “Lancashire Constabulary deeply regrets what has happened. We have clearly put this man through a traumatic experience, and we are extremely sorry for that.
“Officers have remained in contact with him and his
family over the past few days
to inquire about his recovery,” he added, “and we will continue to keep in touch with him
and keep him informed of our inquiry.”
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