Taser 'accidentally discharged' into man's groin

Lesley Richardson,Press Association
Saturday 22 October 2011 21:13

Police were investigating today after an officer accidentally discharged a 50,000 volt Taser weapon into a man's groin.

Peter Cox, 49, was seeking legal advice over the incident which started when he was stopped on suspicion of driving a BMW without insurance.

He spotted a patrol car following him and pulled over at his friend's house in Bridgwater, Somerset, where he was doing landscaping work on July 13.

The officer pointed the Taser at him for a few seconds before lowering the weapon.

At this point, it discharged, narrowly missing the father-of-one's genitals and hitting his groin and ankle.

Unemployed Mr Cox, who suffers from Guillain Barri syndrome, fell to the ground in agony and he was treated by paramedics on the front lawn.

He denied being aggressive and said the insurance company confirmed the car had valid insurance immediately after he was stopped.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said the weapon was discharged by accident and that an investigation was under way.

"The Taser is a hand-held device which discharges an electrical current to temporarily incapacitate a person," the spokesman said.

"Its effects are short-lived but are designed to give officers control of the offender and the situation.

"Often the threat of using a Taser is an effective deterrent to calm an aggressive suspect and as a result frequently it's not necessary to actually discharge it.

"On Tuesday morning officers stopped a man in Bridgwater suspected to be driving a vehicle without insurance. The man appeared to become aggressive and the officer removed his Taser in accordance with protocol. On lowering the Taser it was accidentally discharged.

"The man was given first aid at the scene but is not believed to be injured.

"Police are now looking into this incident."