Police Struggling With a Suspect Accused of Tasing a Police Officer

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Опубликовано 9 ноября 2018, 2:24
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Body camera footage released by the Evansville Police Department this week shows police struggling with a suspect accused of using a Taser on a city police officer outside Fairlawn Elementary School last week. The video footage, provided after a Courier and Press records request, begins after officers already started struggling with 22-year-old Logan Stidham. It shows one officer trying to use a Taser on Stidham while he is sitting on another officer's torso and later shows two officers pinning Stidham after a struggle. An elementary school employee called police shortly before 7 a.m. Oct. 31 to report a suspicious man on a bicycle who came to the front doors asking for his child in daycare. According to a probable cause affidavit, the teacher knew the man did not have a child in daycare. Fairlawn Elementary accepts students as young as kindergarten, according to the EVSC, but does not offer pre-K programs. The school is in session 8:15 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. An Evansville Police officer was sent to Fairlawn and found Stidham on a street near the school. The affidavit states Officer Sean Reed asked Stidham to stop multiple times, but he did not. Reed reported he asked for ID and told Stidham he was going to search him. Stidham allegedly replied: “No you are not,” and tried to get away when Reed grabbed his arm.

Stidham is accused of wrestling with Reed and then using a Taser on the officer's face at least once. The video released by EPD shows an officer approaching Stidham, who appears to be sitting on top of Reed, and yelling "Get up, get up, get off of him." The officer approaching the two men is pointing a gun at Stidham but then pulls out a Taser and tries to use that on Stidham. According to the affidavit, the police officer approaching Stidham and Reed in the video is Officer Green. The affidavit does not give a first name, and city records show there are at least two EPD officers with the last name Green. Green continues yelling at Stidham to get off of Reed. Stidham's response is mostly inaudible in the video, but he repeats the phrase "blood everywhere" multiple times. The two officers continue struggling with Stidham, the video shows, and eventually, more police officers arrive and help pin Stidham to the ground. One officer can be seen kicking toward Stidham's head during the attempt to pin him, shortly before the 7:09 a.m. timestamp on the video. That officer's face and badge are not visible in that part of the video.

Stidham's jail booking photo shows what looks like a large bruise on his face, although it is unclear if he suffered the bruise during the struggle with police officers or at another time. The second video also shows some of that struggle, as well as officers standing around Stidham after he is in custody. One officer asks another what happened, and the other officer, likely Reed, says he and Stidham stumbled and fell. He also says Stidham took his Taser. "I couldn’t roll him… I just kept control of his hands," Reed says. "He didn’t try to go for my gun, but he did pick up my Taser." Neither body cam video shows Reed's initial encounter with Stidham, though they do include audio of police officers describing what they saw outside the school. Reed was taken to a local hospital to treat an injury to the back of his head and injuries near his eye that appeared to be from the Taser. Police said they also took Stidham to the hospital to be checked out. Vanderburgh County Jail booked Stidham shortly before 11 a.m. Oct. 31. He is still in custody at the jail.

Stidham faces the following charges in Vanderburgh Circuit Court:

- Disarming a law enforcement officer, resulting in serious bodily injury, as a level 3 felony;
- Battery with bodily injury to a public safety officer, a level 5 felony;
- Battery with a deadly weapon, a level 5 felony;
- Resisting law enforcement with a deadly weapon, a level 6 felony; and
- Criminal trespass on school property, a level 6 felony.

His bond was set at $50,000 during his initial hearing Wednesday. Stidham’s next scheduled court appearance is 9 a.m. Dec. 19.

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