Update: St. John deputy assaulted with Taser, sheriff says

Published 3:32 pm Monday, April 27, 2015

LAPLACE — A combative medical patient used a Taser against a St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy during a struggle Sunday, authorities said.

Sheriff Mike Tregre said the altercation began when a deputy with over eight years of experience at the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office was working an off duty detail at Ochsner Medical Complex – River Parishes and assisted hospital staff with a patient at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday.

“As the hospital staff prepared to transport the patient to another medical facility, he became combative with the hospital personnel and deputy in the emergency room, and a physical altercation ensued before assisting deputies arrived,” Tregre said in a release.

“The deputy used his Taser device in an attempt to gain control of the situation, but the Taser device had no effect on the patient. The patient overpowered the deputy and gained possession of the Taser device, and he used it to stun the deputy and to strike the deputy about the face and head.”

Sgt. Dane Clement said the patient still had the Taser in his hand when assisting deputies arrived.

Authorities said the suspect was combative with multiple people but no one else was injured.

Tregre said the patient complied with orders to lie on the floor, and deputies restrained him at that time. The detail deputy sustained a laceration above his left eye that required stitches, multiple abrasions to his face and head and a shoulder injury.

“Because he was in the care of the hospital, the patient remained in the care of the hospital,” Tregre said.

“Based on the information gathered during the investigation, investigators applied for an arrest warrant for the patient for aggravated second-degree battery, disarming a peace officer and simple criminal damage to property.”

Clement confirmed the warrant had been approved, but no arrest had been made as of Tuesday morning at press time.

Authorities did not immediately release the name of the patient or deputy.

Clement said the name of the patient has not been released out of caution due to possible Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act violations, and the name of the detail deputy has not been released due to an ongoing investigation.