March 11, 2008 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Waukesha Edition
Man shocked after confrontation
A Waukesha man who was shocked with a Taser gun after police went to his home to check on his welfare late Sunday was charged Monday with obstructing an officer. Randall L. Spenner, 44, was charged with the misdemeanor after a friend in Arkansas called police just before midnight Sunday after she had been unable to reach him on the phone. The woman, who met Spenner when they both worked for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, was concerned about his serious diabetic condition.
Police went to the 2600 block of Pebble Valley Road, but he wouldn't answer the door. The apartment building manager opened the door for police. Officers entered the dark apartment announcing repeatedly that police were there. When they opened Spenner's bedroom door, he was in the bed and pointing a handgun at the officers, the complaint says.
The officers exited the apartment and returned with shields, demanding that Spenner come out of the apartment.
The police demanded five or six times that he come out and show his hands. Spenner came out, but was yelling profanities. He refused to go to the ground and when he quickly approached one of the officers, he was struck with a Taser, the complaint says.
Spenner was taken into custody and later told investigators that he took an Ambien to help him sleep and never heard the police announcing themselves. An unloaded Smith & Wesson Magnum revolver was found underneath Spenner's pillow. Ammunition was found in a nearby closet, the complaint says.
I don't know Mr. Spenner, but--if he approves, and if the Waukesha Police persist in pushing this charge--I will work to have a few, or perhaps a dozen, maybe a score of citizens to provide moral, financial, and political support/pressure on the Police Chief, The Mayor, The City Council and the Fire and Police Commission to end this kind of out-of-control police behavior.
I'm not going to encourage this victim of police over-reach and excess to "Sue them". But that's only because I and my neighbors are the "them," who will pay the financial damages. But I promise to certainly push to have the whole use of and supervision of the use of Tasers made much more accountable.
Overload the police with victimless crimes and other minutiae and eventually only creeps and bullies remain cops. -- Rick Gaber