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Martinsville Officer Resigns From Security Position After Taser Incident

Last updated on Thursday, June 28, 2012

(MARTINSVILLE) - Martinsville Police Department officer Rob Townsend who was off-duty and working as security at St. Francis Hospital Mooresville has stepped down from that position after he used a Taser on a patient there.

Late in the afternoon of June 16, Townsend used a Taser on a female patient three times because she wouldn't be quiet while she was tied to a bed by her hands and feet.

Townsend say the patient was being abusive and was a danger to herself and those around her. Townsend turned in his hospital badge, stating that he was quitting the hospital job because he didn't like its Taser policy. A spokesman for the hospital confirmed the incident, but because of the HIPP law could not discuss any details of the case. Details regarding the hospital's Taser-use policy weren't available.

Mayor Phil Deckard says he had talked to the city police chief and would be discussing the incident further with the chief while reviewing the city's policies. The woman, the mayor said, was warned numerous times to calm down so they could subdue her and that if she didn't stop she would be hit with a Taser.

One Martinsville officer retired and another one was suspended in 2010 following an incident that March in which a 10-year-old boy was struck with a Taser.

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