A 12-year-old girl allegedly was Tasered by police last week in a Victoria’s Secret in St. Louis. The officer claims the girl attempted to stop her mother’s arrest for outstanding traffic tickets. From newlyweds stunned at their own reception to a great-grandmother shocked during a traffic stop, take a look at other subjects in ridiculous tales of the Taser.
Don’t Tase Me, Bro!
When Sen. John Kerry spoke at the University of Florida’s Constitution Day event in 2007, no one thought the event would go viral. But when police escorted student Andrew Meyer away from a microphone after he dramatically asked an unruly series of intense questions, he resisted and a meme was born. As Meyer continued to struggle against the officers, one produced a Taser whose use resulted in the catchphrase heard ‘round the world: “Don’t Tase me, bro!”
Miami police used Tasers on schoolchildren in two separate incidents two weeks apart in 2004. In one, police caught a 12-year-old girl skipping school, drinking, and smoking in a swimming pool. When she resisted being brought to school and began running, the officer who found her Tasered her—allegedly to keep her from running into traffic. Two weeks prior, police used the device on a first-grader at his elementary school. The reason? The 6-year-old was about to cut his leg on a piece of glass.
Ticket or Taser?
When 72-year-old Kathryn Winkfein was stopped for speeding in 2009, neither she nor the police officer likely knew how quickly the situation would escalate. The great-grandmother, who was pulled over for going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, refused to sign the ticket provided by the officer, in Travis County, Texas. She got out of her car and the confrontation quickly turned physical, with the officer repeatedly warning that he would “Tase” her if she didn’t back down. She dared him to. You can probably guess what happened next.
In 2010, a new extreme sport hit the world: Shockfighting. Invented by people for whom mixed martial arts is not dangerous enough, Shockfighting is basically like Fight Club—except instead of using their bare hands, fighters punch each other out wearing gloves fitted with 3,000,000-volt Tasers. There are no weight classes, skill levels, or even rules, and the fight only ends when one opponent has either conceded or been “shocked out”. Needless to say, the pastime is banned in all 50 states.
To Love, Honor, and Taser
Anna Pastuszwska and Andy Somora’s wedding reception got a little too exciting when police had to be called in to calm it down. The Michigan couple was celebrating their 2008 nuptials with guests at an art gallery, but soon the alcohol at the reception began to have an unfortunate effect, turning the party into a melee that resulted in one guest throwing a heavy lamp at a window. The gallery owner called the police, who dispersed most of the guests. But among the angry ones left were the bride and groom, who began yelling at the officers, got Tasered, and spent the night in separate holding cells. What a romantic honeymoon.
Up in Flames
Police in Lancaster, Ohio, didn’t know a potential danger of their new Tasers before they used them: as it turns out, the new model had the potential to set targets on fire. In 2009, a day after the new devices were distributed, two officers got the opportunity to use them on a homeless man who had been sniffing canned keyboard cleaner to get high, and was acting dangerously. When the man attempted to bite an officer, the latter used the stun gun and was surprised when the man briefly ignited. Luckily for other potential Taser victims, the makers of the device dubbed the incident “beyond freakish.”
A Stunning Meal
A Georgia Waffle House waiter got more than a tip when he served a table of police officers one night in 2009. The officers were regulars at the diner and had a tendency to play with their Tasers like toys. So things came to their logical conclusion when one night the waiter, who was chatting with two of the officers, was stunned in the back by a third. Why? He “thought it would be funny.” Another reason not to eat at Waffle House.