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Officer uses Taser on person threatening suicide

October 28, 2006

A Hagerstown Police Department officer used a Taser on Wednesday to subdue a person threatening suicide and force the person to drop the knife the person was holding, according to a police department press release.

On Wednesday about 11:15 p.m., officers went to the area of East Avenue and North Locust Street in response to a call that a person was outside and threatening suicide, Lt. Richard Reynolds said.

Reynolds would not disclose the person's gender, citing privacy concerns.

While officers were at the scene, the person held the knife and pressed the knife to their throat and chest, according to the release.

Officer Tom Kelley talked with the person, who became distracted when other officers showed up to help Kelley out, according to the release. During the distraction, Kelley used his Taser on the person, who subsequently dropped the knife and was taken into custody, according to the release.

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The person was taken to Washington County Hospital for an emergency mental health evaluation, according to the release. No one was injured.

According to the release, the department's officers have used their Tasers 24 times in 2005.

Only officers trained to use the Taser and who have been tased themselves may use it, according to the release. The Taser's probes temporarily incapacitate the person the officer is targeting.

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