Deputy forced to use Taser on inmate

March 17, 2009 3:54:02 PM PDT
A deputy was forced to use a Taser at the Harris County courthouse Tuesday, a place where emotions run high and sometimes unpredictable things can happen. It's the second time in a week, and this time it was an inmate who got an unexpected shock. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Judge Denise Collins says she is proud of the deputies and they way they handled the situation. While this marks the second time in a week that a Taser has been used inside the criminal courthouse, Judge Collins believes based on the inmate's actions, the deputy was left with no other choice.

It was just before 11am Tuesday in a hallway inside the holding area outside the 208th district court, where Judge Collins says a 24-year-old inmate attacked an armed Harris County deputy.

He and another inmate were pulled out of their cell for allegedly fighting with a third inmate.

"As they were trying to talk with them, there's two deputies and they determine what had occurred," said Judge Collins. "One inmate sort of dove for the deputy's legs and wrapped his arms around his legs trying to take him down."

Judge Collins was told the deputy, who was about to lose his balance and fall to the ground, reached for his Taser and pulled the trigger.

"You quietly resolve the situation because that would have been pretty catastrophic if he'd taken the deputy down," said Judge Collins. "He has a weapon. He has a gun. It's not a position a deputy would ever allow himself to be in."

No one was seriously hurt. Right now, no additional charges have been filed against the inmate, who is already facing charges of aggravated assault and aggravated kidnapping. Judge Collins says it's not unusual for inmates to act up. While most situations are resolved peacefully, the deputies who began carrying Tasers two years ago have to be ready for anything.

"That's their job," said Judge Collins. "They are supposed to look around. They're supposed to be aware. They shouldn't be taken off guard."

The deputy who used his Taser is filling out a report about the incident. After that, he'll be back on duty at the courthouse.

Just last week during a murder trial at the Harris County courthouse, a bailiff was forced to use his Taser on a witness during a courtroom altercation.

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