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TASER Device Averts Suicide

September 12, 2007  | 

Attleboro police in Massachusetts were able to use a TASER to prevent a suicidal 50 year-old woman living in a group home from further harming herself.

Police responded to the woman's 911 call that she had already cut her wrists. When officers arrived, the woman was bleeding from the arms and hands and confronted police with a razor knife in her hand, according to officers at the scene. When the dispatcher learned the wound was self-inflicted, the woman turned irate and threatened to harm herself further if police came.

"She said, 'I'll slit my throat. I'll slit my throat'," Detective Lieutenant John Otrando said.

When officers arrived at the group home, the 300-pound woman came from behind her door, bleeding from the arms and hands. She held a purse in her right hand and the razor knife in her left hand when she confronted officers Gilbert Bechtel, Edward Gingras, and Larry Velino. The woman dropped the purse and then lifted her shirt before raising the blade.

"She brought the blade up and attempted to slice her stomach with the razor knife," Otrando said.

Before the woman was able to cut herself again, Bechtel deployed his TASER X26 at the woman.

Otrando said Attleboro police have carried TASER devices since last June and have used them successfully.

In September last year, police used a TASER on a 44-year-old suicidal woman who threatened to kill herself and threatened officers with a knife.

The woman involved in Wednesday's incident was taken to Sturdy Memorial Hospital for the self-inflicted wounds and for a mental crisis evaluation.

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