We’ve noted on numerous occasions that it’s almost never the right answer for law enforcement officers to draw their tasers in response to a deadly force threat, but I never thought I’d see two taser-armed home invaders so perfectly show why that’s such a bad idea.
Two men who drove from Miami to Tampa in a rental car are now in a hospital after they tried to break into a home Saturday evening, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
It happened around 11 p.m. on Dew Drop Lane. According to HCSO, the two suspects parked the rental car across the street from the home in the 16000 block and kicked in the back door of the residence.
They were armed with Tasers, deputies said. A man who was inside the home confronted the two suspects. They had an argument and the man fired several shots, striking the invaders. The resident fled the scene.
The suspects were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspects were identified as Leanys Rodriguez-Charon, 27, and Carlos Anthony Rodriguez, 28.
While Rodriguez-Charon and Rodriguez are listed as the suspects in this case, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is actually searching for the resident, who fled the scene and hasn’t returned. It could be that the resident was an innocent guy who is simply spooked, but let’s just say I find that explanation unlikely.
The suspects didn’t attack some random guy, after all. They rented a car and drove from Miami to Tampa to target a specific home and resident, and I strongly suspect that resident was probably not targeted because of his stash of Girl Scout cookies.
Rodriguez-Charon and Rodriguez are not cooperating with the police, probably because they were there, armed with tasers, in order to either rob or perhaps kidnap the missing resident.
Even though he faced a significant disadvantage in terms of the number of weapons he encountered in this 2-on-1 encounter, the resident here proved what we’ve noted repeatedly: tasers aren’t always effective, and are in fact rarely effective in certain circumstances. Several layers of clothing, or even a single layer of either thick or puffy clothing, will often prevent the taser’s probes from making solid contact to transmit the hoped-for disabling jolt of energy. That outcome assumes that the taser and cartridge have been well-maintained and are in proper working order (we’ve heard of instances where they haven’t fired), and also assumes that the electrical jolt will stop the attacker.
There are numerous documented instances of stone-cold sober people simply powering through a taser hit, not to mention those instances where people who are angry or under the influence simply seem immune to the effects of the system.
A famous example of this took place in Baton Rogue on July 5th, when serial felon Alton Sterling refused to comply with police who had been called after Sterling had threatened a homeless man with a gun. Sterling was tased twice to no effect, forcing officers to go “hands on” in an effort to arrest him. Officers were eventually forced to shoot Sterling when he reached for his gun after being warned by officers to stop struggling.
Don’t get me wrong: tasers and other kinds of stun guns are effective much more often than they fail. That allowed, they are less-lethal be design, and not suited for use against an opponent armed with a knife, club, gun, or other weapon capable of causing serious injury or death.