WM Student Arrested, Tased Outside Green Leafe
March 30th, 2009 by WY Daily Staff
According to a report filed by the Williamsburg Police Department, College of William and Mary student Walter Luse ’12 was tasered by Williamsburg police after resisting arrest for using a fake ID to purchase alcohol from the Green Leafe Café around 2 a.m. Friday.
According to eyewitnesses, 911 was dialed when Luse refused to leave the entrance to the Green Leafe after being ejected.
“He was being belligerent, running around and yelling and trying to get into the Leafe with what I’m assuming was a fake ID,” Drew Albright ’10 said. Albright witnessed the scene from within the Green Leafe.
According to Dave Sloggie, Deputy Chief of the Williamsburg Police Department, an officer found Luse supporting himself against a railing near the entrance of the Green Leafe, where he had earlier purchased alcohol using a fake ID.
“[The officer] then noticed that the person was intoxicated and all the symptoms that go with that– glassy, bloodshot eyes,” Sloggie said. “The officer asked for his ID, he told him he didn’t have one, he asked how old he was – there was a long pause – asked how much he had to drink, he told him maybe five beers, asked him for his ID at which point he told him he was 19.”
Sloggie says Luse admitted to having purchased alcohol from one of the bartenders with a fake ID, at which point the officer pronounced him under arrest.
“The officer then told him he was under arrest for [being] drunk in public, underage possession of alcohol and using a fake ID for the purposes of getting alcohol,” Sloggie said.
When the officer attempted to take Luse by the arm, Luse fled briefly down Richmond Road until two officers brought him to the ground. According to the police report, Luse, thrashing his arms and legs, repeatedly failed to comply with verbal commands before being tasered twice.
“They had him on the ground and then one officer pulled out the taser gun, holding him with one hand and pointing the gun at him with the other one,” Albright said. “And there was like a laser, I’m assuming, because there was a red dot on his back. I couldn’t hear [the officer], I don’t know if he was telling him he was going to tase him, but he paused for a second before he actually hit him with the gun.”
A taser is a type of weapon that temporarily incapacitates its victims by emitting an electric shock.
“What happens when you tase somebody, there’s a five second burst and then it’s still connected. If he doesn’t comply, you hit another five second burst. So that’s what appears [to have] occurred,” Sloggie said.
Luse was subdued after the two electric shocks.
“He was struggling a little bit, but it was unnatural looking. It was kind of upsetting to watch,” Albright said. “When they were shocking him, he was moving strangely.”
Luse was then taken into police custody and treated by paramedics.
“They removed the probes from his back. That is something in a lot of cases we could do, but we call the paramedics,” Sloggie said. “It’s not like they go [in] very deep. They cleaned the areas and secured them with band-aids.”
According to the police report, Luse resisted officers again before being taken to Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail. Once there, the magistrate found probable cause to issue warrants for being drunk in public, underage possession of alcohol, use of a fake ID to obtain alcohol and obstruction of justice. Luse was held without bond.
According to corroborating documents filed at the James City County District Court, Luse has been charged with one count of obstructing justice, one count of public swearing/intoxication, one count of using a false ID to purchase alcohol and one count of purchase/possession of alcohol unlawful in certain cases. The charges were filed by Williamsburg Police officer David Jay.
Under Virginia Code sections 18.2-460 and 4.1-305, obstructing justice, purchase/possession of alcohol unlawful in certain cases and using a false ID to purchase alcohol are Class 1 misdemeanors. Under section 18.2-388, profane swearing and intoxication in public is a Class 4 misdemeanor.
Documents also show that Luse has a hearing scheduled for April 7 at 8:31 a.m.
According to a call to Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail placed at 11 p.m. Sunday, Luse had not been released.
Following the incident, concerns have been raised regarding the use of force on Luse.
“I can tell you this, sir, I’ve been on the department 30 years, and the level of force for tasing seems to be offensive to people sometimes, but when we used to have to use nightsticks and blackjack, that was a whole different world out there- that or just fight,” Sloggie said. “And between pepper spray and tasing, injuries to suspects and officers are extremely reduced.”