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Taser Rochester Mn Handgun Taser Mix-up Not First 2002

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Rochester. MN
Rochester-Mason City-Austin
Mit Aria




14, 2002



Handgun-TaseLmix-uJ) not the first on record
dental, Rochester Police
Chief Roger Peterson
announced Thursday. However, Atak's attorneys say they
will conduct an independent
investigation of the shooting,
which took place in northwest
By Bob Freund
According to police, Atalt
was being subdued by
Last week's incident in
another officer when Officer
The Taser's shape, hanRochester was not the first in Greg Siem arrived. Siem
which a police officer mistak- placed an electrical stun gun, dle and- -trIgger closely
resemble the handguns
enly fired his handgun
callea a Taser, in a cargo
instead of a nonlethal stun
carried by Rochester offipocket of !lis pants befo're
gun to subdue a suspect
cers, Police Chief Rogercoming to the other offi~er's
In March 2001, a SacraPeterson saId.
assistance, police said. The
mento, Calif., police officer
Taser temporarily incaPaciPeterson said the nonlethal
made the same error while
tates a combative persoil with
Taser had fallen out of Siem's
struggling with an intoxicated a high-voltage shock
Peterson said an inv~tiga­ pants pocket, perhaps during
the struggle with Atak
The state Bureau of Crimtion by the BCA found that
While the officers were
inal Apprehension considers Siem mistook his handgun for
the shooting of Christofar
trYing to restrain him with
the 'raser and fired it orlce,
Atak on Sept 2 to be acciwounding Atak
handcuffs, Siem tried to draw

Similar incident
happened in
California FRONT PAGE

the 'raser, but instead mistakenly drew the hantlgun from
its holster, PetersoR said.
Siem positioned the gun as
a Taser is typically used and
fired one shot inW Atak's
back, a police narriative said.
Siem recognized tlje mistake,
dropped the gun lIfld called
for medical help.
Atak was in fak' condition
Friday at Saint Ma1ys Hospital. He has had Surgery on a
The Sacramento incident
was similar, with Several officers trYing to resti;lin an
intoxicated man who was
fighting officers arid kicked
out a window in a .squad car.
In that incident, tlje stun gun
was fired once, bqt only had
temporary effect.
During the struggle, which
involved four poliCe officers,

the man accidentally was shot
in the buttocks, according to
an account trom the Sacramento Police Department.
The BCXs report will be
reviewed by the Ramsey
County Attorney's office to
avoid any conflict of interest,
Peterson said.
The state investigators also
are asking anyone with information about a vehicle that
was in the area at the time to
contact police.
People in the area reported
hearing loud screeching of
tires in the area of 50th Street
and 18th Avenue Northwest at
8:41 p.m., about five minutes
before the gunshot
The driver or passengers
may be witnesses to the incident, police said. Anyone with
information should call 2858580.