Two Palmer police officers safe thanks to stun gun - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Two Palmer police officers safe thanks to stun gun

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Palmer police are crediting the use of stun guns in saving the lives of a suicidal man and two officers.  

It was a situation that could have required deadly force; a reportedly suicidal man threatening the lives of two officers.

"He warned them that if they called the police, that he would basically try and harm the police," said Palmer Police Chief Robert Frydryk.

He said Jose Colon-Lopez was living at Palmer Green apartment complex with a friend when he got kicked out. That's when police said he fled the property, armed with an eight-inch butcher knife.

He headed into a wooded area off Shearer St. threatening to hurt himself and anyone who approached.

"He was very angry, he kept walking towards the police officers with the knife raised threatening that he was going to kill them and he was basically asking them to shoot him," Frydryk said.

That's when the officers armed with stun guns took Colon-Lopez down. He dropped his weapon and they were able to safely take him into custody.

Frydryk said it's situations like this one that highlight the benefits of having stun guns.

One of the most common complaints of stun gun-use by police departments is that they're overused.

But every time one is deployed by a Palmer police officer, they have to report it to the state's Executive Office of Public Safety.

"We're confident with that oversight and with the training that we were giving to our officers that they wouldn't be used unnecessarily," Frydryk said.

Frydryk said without the tasers, the situation may have turned out much differently.

"If not for the fact that we had the tasers we certainly would have had to use deadly force, there wouldn't have been much choice," he said.

Colon-Lopez was taken to Wing Memorial for a psychiatric evaluation and faces two counts of assaulting a police officer with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct.

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