Waxahachie police hold their tongue
By 05/31/2007 00:00:00
WAXAHACHIE - The Waxahachie Police Department was holding its tongue on any comments about the incident involving 52-year-old diabetic Allen Nelms.
Waxahachie police reportedly stormed into the home of Nelms and Tasered him while knocking him to the floor, handcuffing him and laughing about the incident when all Nelms wanted to paramedics to come to help him through his diabetic seizure.
'I cannot comment on anything that is under or may be under pending litigation,' said Waxahachie Assistant Police Chief Brett Colston.
Colston elaborated very little and went on to state in the police notice, 'On April 28, at approximately 4:30 a.m. police responded to a 911 hang-up to 720 Perry St.'
Nelms had filed a complaint against the Waxahachie Police Department on May 3, stating the officers used excessive force when they responded to an emergency call by Nelms' girlfriend when he was having a diabetic seizure.
In the complaint, Nelms says, 'A police man came and asked what was the matter, she (Josie Edwards) told him I was having a bad seizure and she needed the paramedics.
'He called (the) paramedics and police back-up.
'(I told him) I don't need the police man, I need the paramedics, so they could help me because they know what to do.
'Instead about five car loads of police kicked my front door in and cam back pointing guns on me (and telling me) to get on the floor so they shot me five times with (Tasers) after they made me lay on my stomach and they hand cuffed me.
'All I wanted was some help for my seizure.'
The response from Colston in his review of the written complaint was, 'After careful - continued from page 1
consideration of your allegations we have found that the officers were within our departmental policies regarding the use of a less than lethal force option (TASER) on you during an event at your residence on April 28, 2007.' Local attorney Rodney Ramsey, representing Nelms, said, 'We appreciate the police coming out on a medical emergency but they had no reason to enter his home because there was never any allegation of a crime at any time.'
Ramsey explained the only thing which stands out was the officer who first responded to the call may have thought the lady was intoxicated because Nelms girlfriend slurs her speech because she has Lou Gehrig's disease.
Slurred speech is one of the early symptoms of Lou Gehrig's disease along with muscle cramps and twitches and involuntary periods of laughing and crying states healthscout.com.
Healthscout.com goes on to state the mind is not impaired and remains sharp, despite the progressive degenerating condition of the body.
Edwards, Nelms live-in girlfriend, said in her statement the police questioned her about what time Nelms got home, was he drunk or on drugs or whether he fought or hurt her.
'He (Nelms) doesn't drink or do drugs, he is a very sickly person,' said Edwards.
'He is a very sweet person (and) I called paramedics for help for him because I don't want him hurting himself.'
Edwards went on to state the police left the room after their shooting and laughing and the paramedics had to pull the Tasers out of Nelms.
'You Tase people because you already have a charge against them or at least some probable cause,' said Ramsey.
'In my opinion they made a major mistake and won't admit to it. If we can admit we have a problem then we can address the problem.'
Edwards stated, 'Of 16 years that we lived here and called for paramedics, police decide to come and take over and try to almost kill the man.
'They never asked any questions, did he have a heart pacer, they just wanted to have fun by shooting (Tasers) and handcuffing the man after he was shot.'
Nelms said, 'I respect the law and police but on this day I was a shooting target for them when I needed help.'
Ramsey said they may have to file suit in federal court if they cannot get a response from the police department.