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RCMP justified in Tasering elderly knife-wielding patient: Watchdog

Mounties were justified in Tasering an elderly knife-wielding hospital patient in Kamloops, said RCMP watchdog Paul Kennedy.

Mounties were justified in Tasering an elderly knife-wielding hospital patient in Kamloops, said RCMP watchdog Paul Kennedy.

Frank Lasser, 82, was Tasered at Royal Inland Hospital when he turned toward an RCMP officer with a knife raised above his head and ready to strike.

“Throughout this incident, Mr. Lasser’s behaviour could reasonably be described as a posing a threat of grievous bodily harm or death,” said Kennedy, chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.

Kennedy said the police response was “reasonable and justified given the circumstances.”

He said statements gathered during his investigation were largely consistent, with the exception of Lasser’s recollection of events.

Kennedy said Lasser’s recollection was admittedly poor and likely impacted by his medication and the fact that he was not receiving oxygen.

In the early morning hours of May 3, 2008, a nurse entered his room and found him with a knife, which he waved about. Several attempts were made to disarm the man.

The Taser was fired as a last resort by the Mountie, who feared for the safety of his partner, Kennedy said.

 
 
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