LAUDERHILL, FLA. (WSVN) - A Lauderhill Police officer made the split-second decision to use his Taser after a traffic stop involving a security officer took a violent turn, police said.
The police officer involved in Sunday night’s incident was temporarily incapacitated after, investigators said, he was blinded by mace as he conducted the traffic stop.
According to detectives, 44-year-old Tavaney Bodden ran two stop signs on Northwest 55th Avenue, between 19th and 24th streets, while behind the wheel of a dark colored Toyota Corolla.
Investigators said the suspect was pulled over several blocks away.
“One of our officers attempted to make a stop on a vehicle that had run a stop sign,” said Lauderhill Police Maj. Mike Santiago.
Body camera video captured audio of the police officer involved as he explained what happened next to other police officers who responded to the scene.
“[The driver] gets out of the car as he stops right here and, like, just storms out of the [expletive] car, comes right over to me,” said the officer, “and I see the badge. I’m like, ‘What the [expletive is going on? Did I pull over an undercover [officer], you know?’ But then I can see he’s, like, sweating, and he’s just weird.”
“The moment the officer stops, you’ll see that the suspect inside that vehicle comes directly to the officer, not giving the officer the ability to actually get out of the car, and begins to confront the officer as to why the stop,” said Santiago.
The officer’s bodycam video shows Bodden, seen wearing a polo shirt with a badge, holding up a can of mace.
“Put the mace away!” the officer said in the bodycam video.
“I’m not,” said Bodden.
“Put it away! I’m gonna tase you. Stop! Put it away,” said the officer.
“I’m gonna mace you,” said Bodden, still holding up the can.
“Put it away,” said the officer.
“I’ve got mace,” said Bodden.
“Put it away,” the officer.
“I’m not playing,” said Bodden.
“Last time, last time. All right, Taser, Taser, Taser,” said the officer as Bodden is seen going down to the ground.
Investigators said Bodden simultaneously sprayed the officer in his face.
“Ninety-four CW deployed. I’ve been maced,” the officer is heard saying to a dispatcher.
At this point, investigators said, the officer can’t see, his eyes likely burning from the mace. He nevertheless continued to handcuff Bodden.
The bodycam video captured the officer trying to assess the situation.
“Hey, what’s going on with you, man?” the officer asked Bodden.
“I told you,” said Bodden.
“Are you diagnosed or something? Are you on drugs?” said the officer.
Backup units responded to the scene soon after.
Video from the officer’s bodycam captured his heavy breathing as he recovers.
“The officer utilized extreme restraint in that particular situation,” said Santiago. “There were other obvious signs of something else going on. Aside from the uniform, there was also the behavior of the suspect where it appeared that he may have been under the influence of something. We just don’t know at this particular time, but the officer found it best to utilize his Taser as opposed to going lethal use in this particular situation.”
Santiago said the officer de-escalated the situation by using his Taser to shock Bodden.
Bodden was arrested and faces multiple charges. He appeared before Broward County Circuit Judge Chris Brown on Monday.
“You are charged with aggravated battery on an officer, firefighter or [emergency medical technician], also resisting an officer, obstruction with violence,” said Brown.
“In any situation involving any type of force, the officer has to make split-second decisions on his safety as well as the safety of the public,” said Santiago.
Police training teaches officers to shoot, possibly to kill, when they’re faced with pepper-spray or mace because they can be incapacitated, and a subject could reach for a weapon.
Bodden was taken to the Broward County Jail. He was released after paying his $16,000 bond.
Wednesday night, a 7News crew went to his home, where a woman answered and said he was not home.
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