Taser Rochester Mn Mistaken Gun 2002
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ROlheller, MN POST- BULLETIN Rocheller-Maaon City -AutUn 'hIAr.. "Id', SEP D42,060 13. 2ee2 111111111111 iJllllllllllllllIllllllllll I1I[JjF'llI1il ~ P3282 UJUlPRp.ss Cf.lPPfNGS Scott JacobaonIPost·BulleUn Rochester Police Chief .Roger Peterson demonstrates the similarity In size and shape of the Tasers and ha"ndguns Issued to Rochester police., . Wrong~gun Police chief: Officer thought he Was using a Ta~er . By Joshua Lynch }1ynchOpostbullelin.com The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has,col}cluded a. Rochcstm," polic~ officer though.• usiJig a stun gunwhen he fired a'buUet into the back of ~e,W~ Christofar Atak on Sepl2. _.. ~ft"PLI M~,n IN Shooting • Family's attorneys want to talk ,to ,offlqers -Pa~.3A Rochester Police Chief Hoger Pelcrson,ssid Officer Greg Siem, selVes l'lgtlt back In It," , PeterSon said both Sl~tn a,nd a six·year veteran with the department, was trying to subdue Officer, Doug Remlingrb,ponded the evening of SeRt.~~ to ',a rep,qti' an ,intoxicated Atakw~enhe of:AlakfighUng and damaging accidentally used his handgl1n instead of his Thser, a non~lethal property at100l ,50th Sl N.W. Remling was the first'on the device that uses an electric scene. As Remling drove, up, shock to incapacitate a person. Peterson said, Atak, 31, jumped Peterson said Siem shot Atak in front of the squad car. Remonce before realizing his mis.. ling stopped, got out of his Cal' take. Siem then dropped his and approached Auk Peterson pistol and called for medical said Remling then beard,the . assistance. man threaten suicide. "1 thiilk the issue for the comFrom anoUler squad car; Siem munity has always been whether watched as Remling and Atak this was accidental or inten: ' started scuffiing. ,Peterson said· tioriaI," Peterson said. "We know that as Siem-Iefi his vehicle, he now that this was accidental." took a Taser from the vehicle William L. French, an attorney and placed it in his right-hand hired by Atak's family, decliiled pants pocket to commeilt this morning on the 'the Tasers tised by Rochester results of the bureau'S investiga- police are similar in shape to tion. French said he and Mother handguns. attorney, Steven Fuller, will be Peterson said RerilUng condoing their own investigation. tinued to try to restrain Atak, but "It's a very unfortunate inci· was unsuccessful. Siem then dent." French said. Atak came to became Involved in the scuffie, the United States as a refugee of Peterson said, and both ·officers civil war from Sudan. ''This told Atak an estimated 10 times family moved to ge~ away from to place his hands on the squad violence'and theY find themcar. Peterson said that each time the officers tried to handcuff Ataki the man fought back. At one point. Siem grabbed what be thought was the Taser, Peterson said. Instead, Siem had ~abbed his handgun and removed it fronl its holster. geli~'diig~th~ h~ndgun to be the Taser, Slem pointed it at Atak's b~,ckw~il,e A4tk,vi~ ag~iust 8_squhd.caf. peterson being h~ld - . said Atak was then shot ODCem the back bY_Siem. '.:: Peted;oit':satd it is posSible the . Taser that Sielll had earlJer placed in his pocket was ' krtOcked frOm him during the scume. The Taser w'as found on the ground near the squad cars. Atak, who remains hospitalized, was listed iil fair condition this morning at Saint Marys Hospital. Peterson said he spoke Thursday with Atak to explain the BCA's findingS arid formally apologize. "While officers liad no Intent' to cause injury to Mr. Atak, we deeply regret the fact that this occurred," Peterson said. "We extend ourshicere apologies to Mr: Atak and his family and our thoughts and prayers go out to them as well as to the officers involved." Peterson said both officers, who have been on administrative ieave since the shooting, can return to work when they are ready.