Cops Mistake Blind Man's Stick for Sword, Tase Him

Colin Farmer, 61, had no idea what was going on at first

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 17, 2012 11:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – When police in England responded to reports of a man walking around with a sword, they stumbled upon Colin Farmer, 61, who is blind … and was carrying his white stick. Surely you see where this is going: Police, mistaking the stick for a samurai sword, set upon Farmer and eventually Tased him, the man says. "I didn't even know the police were there. I heard this man shouting," he says. "I thought I was going to be attacked by hooligans. The next thing they fired a Taser at me, although I didn't know it was a Taser at the time. I just felt a thump in my back. As soon as the Taser hit me, I hit the ground."

Farmer says he then tried to explain he's blind, but an officer kneeled on him and handcuffed him nonetheless, leaving bruises. He is considering legal action, and complained to the force; both it and the Independent Police Complaints Commission have launched investigations, the Guardian reports. "I walk at a snail's pace, they could have walked past me, driven past me in a van, or said: 'Drop your weapon,'" Farmer points out. A 27-year-old man who was actually carrying a sword was arrested later, and may face drunk and disorderly charges.

  (Shutterstock)
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