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Taser saves man's life

Published: 2:46PM Wednesday June 13, 2012 Source: Fairfax

  •  (Source: ONE News)
    Source: ONE News

Police have used a Taser to save the life of a Taranaki man who stabbed himself in the stomach.

Senior Sergeant Darrin Haenga said police negotiated with the 36-year-old man, who had barricaded himself in his Swansea Rd house for two hours last night, before going in after learning the man was seriously injured.

Haenga said at 7pm the man had greeted police with a machete, but had a selection of other weapons and was armed with a knife when police went in.

"He had a number of weapons strategically placed around the house, and a number of knives in different rooms," he said.

Detective Guy Jackson, of Hawera, said the man was incoherent, screaming, and threatening.

"There was knives and blood everywhere, the scene was horrendous," said Jackson, who ended up covered in the blood himself.

The man was taken to Taranaki Base Hospital by the ambulance and had since had surgery on his self-inflicted wound, Haenga said.

Police decided to force their way into the house because of fears the man was harming himself or would bleed out, having seen him with heavy bleeding around his stomach, Jackson said.

"He wouldn't come out of the house and attempts were made to communicate by telephone, by police communications and the mental health crisis team," he said.

At one point the man had asked for help.

"He had rung to say he was bleeding and needed help but when we got into the house he still had a knife and was threatening to stab the police officers if they came near him," Haenga said.

The man had been told to put the knife down but had refused and was then Tasered.

"He wasn't able to be reasoned with," Haenga said.

Jackson said normal police procedure is to use firearms, but it was decided Tasering the man gave him a better chance at surviving.

"Tasering this guy saved his life," he said.

Police believe the man had been drinking since 9.30am, but it was unknown whether drugs were also involved.

Haenga said the man's partner had fled the house and called police after a domestic dispute with the man at 7pm.

"She's got away, I don't know where she's gone, and rung us. When police arrived they realised what was happening and called for backup," he said.

Police from Stratford, Hawera, Inglewood and New Plymouth attended, including three CIB members and the immediate area around the house was cordoned off.

Because the man had been taken to hospital he had been arrested not yet been formally charged, but was likely to face various offences relating to weapons and threatening to kill, Haenga said.

It was not known if the man had a history of substance abuse or mental illness.

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