Original Title: RCMP subdue hospitalized man, 82, with Taser
Frank Lasser, 82, says RCMP officers could have subdued him without resorting to using a Taser gun. (CBC)
An elderly man in Kamloops, B.C., was zapped three times on the torso by a police stun gun while lying on his hospital bed, CBC News has learned.
Frank Lasser, 82, appeared fragile Thursday when he showed the Taser marks on his body and talked about the ordeal he went through Saturday.
"They [police] should have known I had bypass surgery," Lasser told CBC News.
Lasser has had heart surgery and needs to carry an apparatus to supply oxygen at all times. He was in the Royal Inland Hospital Saturday due to pneumonia but has since been released.
[Royal Inland Hospital,
311 Columbia Street,
Kamloops, British Columbia V2C 2T1,
Hospital switchboard: (250) 374-5111For those living in the Kamloops, BC area, please keep this hospital in mind when deciding on hospitilization for your elderly relatives. You'll want to be sure to pick a hospital facilty whose nursing staff is eager to call the RCMP whenever you loved one may become too "unruly" or "threatening". I'm quite sure that the safety and comfort of the patients are uppermost in the minds of the hospital adminsitration. Thank God, we have a few remaining hospitals in British Colombia that still care about the elderly. ..Ken Adachi]
Frank Lasser shows the marks left on his body after being stunned three times by a Taser. (CBC)
RCMP said nurses called police after Lasser became delirious and pulled a knife out of his pocket.
Lasser told CBC News that he sometimes becomes delusional when he can't breathe properly. He said he couldn't explain why he refused to let go of the knife even after the Mounties arrived.
"I was laying on the bed by then and the corporal came in, or the sergeant, I forget which it was, and said to the guys, 'OK, get him because we got more important work to do on the street tonight,'" Lasser said.
"And then, bang, bang, bang, three times with the laser, and I tell you, I never want that again."
Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Scott Wilson said using pepper spray in the Lasser case could have contaminated the hospital.(CBC)
Kamloops RCMP said Thursday that officers had no other option but to deploy the conducted energy weapon when Lasser refused to drop his knife.
"Whether the person is 80 or 20, we are dealing with a person who had a deadly weapon in their hand," Cpl. Scott Wilson told CBC News.
"We could not deploy our … pepper spray, because we could potentially contaminate the entire hospital."
Lasser said there were three RCMP officers in his hospital room and believes they could have easily handled him without the use of a Taser.
"They could have gone in there and taken an old man without any trouble at all," said Lasser, who is an ex-prison guard.
‘This is not doing anything good for the image of our police. I think they need some training in alternative methods of handling 82 year old men with a knife. I am absolutely disgusted.’
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