Virginia Cops Taser Autistic Man for Arguing


Williamsburg News
May 18, 2008

JAMES CITY – James City County police officers used a Taser gun on a 24-year-old autistic Williamsburg man Thursday after police said he became unruly with employees at Wilson’s Leather at the Prime Outlets-Williamsburg shopping mall.

Police responded to the store on Richmond Road around 2 p.m. after employees reported that the man had become argumentative during a dispute over a returned item, according to police spokesman Mike Spearman.

The man, whom Spearman called “large in stature,” became combative with police and refused to leave the store. Officers incapacitated him with a single shot from the Taser, placed him under arrest and charged him with trespassing and resisting arrest, both Class 1 misdemeanors.

Police only learned the man suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism, after he had been placed under arrest, Spearman said.

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