By The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — Police in Winnipeg say one of their officers was zapped in the face with a stun gun while he and another officer tried to arrest a suspected car thief.
Officers were stopped by a group of people on Saturday afternoon who told them a male was trying to steal a nearby vehicle, and was inside it kicking at the windshield.
Police say the officers found the suspect inside the car but he locked the doors and refused to come out.
The owner of the vehicle eventually unlocked the car, but police say the suspect still refused to exit, and he fought with the officers when they tried to arrest him.
Const. Jay Murray says the officers tried to Taser the suspect, but he was able to get his finger into the trigger and allegedly zapped one of the officers in the face before they finally subdued him.
Rodney Alvin Meeches, 32, of Winnipeg, faces charges that include theft of a vehicle, disarming a peace officer and assaulting a peace officer with a weapon.
A video taken by a bystander, which Murray says is circulating on social media, shows two officers struggling with the suspect on the pavement outside the car while the clicking of the energy weapon is audible.
“You can hear the Taser cycling on and off, but the suspect actually gets his finger into the trigger and clamps down, so now it’s cycling repeatedly,” Murray said.
“Then if you see the video, the officers, I believe they start to punch at that point in an attempt to get that Taser under control and take this person into custody.”
The suspect was eventually arrested and was taken to hospital where he was treated and released, and is now in custody.
Police say they believe recent drug use may have played a role in the incident.
Both officers later attended a hospital for treatment of injuries they sustained.
Murray said the officer who wasn’t hit with the Taser will likely be off work for several days due to his injuries.