June 2, 2008
by David Gutierrez
(NaturalNews) Police in Ozark, Alabama, Tasered and arrested an unconscious, sober man who was having a diabetic seizure on November 6, then charged him with drunk driving and resisting arrest.
James Bludsworth, 54, was pulling a trailer in his black Nissan truck when he began to have a diabetic seizure. Bludsworth promptly pulled over to the side of the road, where he passed out.
After receiving a call about the truck and trailer parked on the side of the road, three police cruisers responded to the scene. When Bludsworth failed to respond to their commands, the officers fired Tasers at his unconscious body three times.
A Taser is a type of electroshock weapon that fires small metal darts attached to the gun by wires, then administers an electric shock that disrupts nerve and muscle function and induces severe pain.
Bludsworth was then taken to the Dale County Jail and charged with resisting arrest, drunk driving and a towing infraction. He was not given medical attention.
After posting $1,000 bail and scoring 0.00 blood alcohol on a breathalyzer test, Bludsworth was released. The towing infraction was dropped, but the criminal charges against him remain.
Ozark Deputy Police Chief Myron Williams defended the officers' response to the situation, saying that the unconscious man was "combative."
"The officers were looking for a medical alert bracelet that would signify some medical condition, and he didn't have one," Williams said. "The officer asked [Bludsworth] how much had he been drinking and he said 'a whole lot.' The officer also asked him did he need an ambulance and he said 'no.'"
One of the responding officers now says that he smelled alcohol on Bludsworth's breath at the time.
The officers involved in the incident will not be disciplined. Bludsworth has another court date in December, at which point his arresting officer will have the option to recommend that the charges against him be dropped.
Posted by Michael Difensore at 5:55 PM