Investigation opens after Fredericksburg officer Tasers suspect

Posted at 12:58 AM, Nov 14, 2013

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WTVR) - Fredericksburg Police have opened an internal investigation after an officer used a Taser on a suspect Saturday night.

The incident started with a hit and run on Hanover Street, Fredericksburg police said.  At 7:30 p.m. a witnesses called 911 after seeing a Buick hit five parked cars.

The driver fled the scene on foot, but the first officer to arrive on scene found the passenger, Lantz Day, at the corner of Hanover and Caroline Streets.

"The officer had the guy on the ground face down telling him calmly, 'Sir, this is just a traffic accident, stay down let us figure this out,'" Michael Rosario, who witnessed the incident, said.

Police said Day refused to comply, and in video taken by a witness, you can see the suspect laid out on the ground initially, then he attempts to flee until the officer uses his Taser on him.

In the video what appears to be the electric, snapping sound of the Taser is heard for 42-seconds, as Day yells in the background.

Fredericksburg Police spokeswoman, Natatia Bledsoe, said a single trigger pull and release of a taser delivers a five second charge.

Bledsoe said a sustained charge with the Taser is not prohibited, but the department is reviewing the entire incident to determine if a sustained charge would be appropriate.

When asked Bledsoe provided with the department's use of force policy, which states that, "A subject fleeing from an officer, by itself, is not justification for the Taser to be deployed and is prohibited."

Day was arrested for obstruction of justice. Police say the officer involved is currently on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure.