Mentally frail man, 89, shot with Taser

By John Fahey,Press Association
Tuesday 13 January 2009 16:35

A mentally disturbed 89-year-old man who escaped from his care home was blasted by police with a 50,000 volt Taser when he threatened to kill himself.

Officers took the step when the pensioner produced a shard of glass and claimed he was going to cut his throat.

Today, North Wales Police defended their actions, describing use of the Taser as "the safest and most appropriate option".

Officers found the man in Abbey Road, Llandudno, after receiving reports that he had absconded from his care home in the town.

Fearing he was going to commit suicide in front of them, the specially trained Taser team shot the OAP, knocking him to the ground.

He was taken to Llandudno General Hospital to be treated for minor injuries before he was transferred to Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor.

Police said the incident was not referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Today, a force spokesman said: "Shortly before 6.30am on Saturday morning North Wales Police received a report expressing concern for the safety of an elderly man who had absconded from a care home in Llandudno.

"He was believed to be suicidal.

"Officers were dispatched to search for the 89-year-old.

"He was later found in Abbey Road, Llandudno, where he was threatening to cut his own throat with a piece of glass.

"In all the circumstances the specially trained officers made the judgment, in order to protect the life of the man, that the use of Taser was the safest and most appropriate option.

"This was successfully done and the man was taken to Llandudno Hospital to be treated for minor glass injuries.

"He was later transferred into the care of Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor."

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