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Sunday, December 28, 2014

South Carolina family files complaint after Autistic adult son is shocked with taser, and arrested

Greenville City Police Department arrested Tario Anderson, 34, for interfering with police work and resisting arrest

WYFF4 News | report by Aly Myles | Dec. 26, 2014

GREENVILLE, SC —According to the Greenville City Police Department, Tario Anderson, 34, wouldn't listen to them when they asked him to stop three times and ran from police on Christmas Eve just before midnight.

Officers were in the area, responding to reports of gunshots when they saw Anderson walking on Sullivan St. towards Augusta St.

"When they put their spotlight on him, he immediately put his head down, put his hands in his pockets and began to walk away from him," Officer Johnathan Bragg with Greenville Police said. "They then got out of the vehicle and approached him and ordered him to stop at which point he did flee from the officers and they pursued him."

Police then used a Taser to stop Anderson, a 6 foot 8 inch man, but his mother, Carolyn Anderson, said he has severe autism, does not understand much and did not need to be arrested or shocked with a Taser.

"Tario can say yes or no, he might ask for a thing or two, but just verbal, no," Carolyn Anderson said.

She said the family has lived on Sullivan St. her entire life and he often walks most nights to other relatives' homes on the street. When neighbors saw Tario shocked with the Taser, Carolyn Anderson said they called her to come outside, but officers would not let her near her son.

"If you had seen my baby was out there, laying on that sidewalk and every time he reached for me, I reached for him- [they'd say] "Get back, we gonna Tase you"," Carolyn Anderson said. "I was trying to make them take me to jail. I curse everything, 'Take me! I'm the one causing trouble! Take me. He's not doing nothing.' No matter what I said, it didn’t make no difference to them."

Bragg said the officers were not aware if Tario Anderson has a mental handicap, and because he broke the law by running and resisting arrest, they arrested him.

"From what he did, he did break the law so in any case like that, we do go ahead and arrest them and make the charges and we’re not deemed certified to declare anyone as mentally ill or with a disease or anything like that so we don’t technically know if he is," Bragg said.

After the arrest, Tario Anderson was treated on scene by paramedics who cleared him, and he was taken to the detention center, where he was charged with interfering with police work and resisting arrest.

Carolyn Anderson said this is the first time her son has been arrested and she does not understand why he is being charged.

"Interfering? Resisting? It's against the law to take off running? I still don’t understand. I really don’t," she said. "I say if you hear gunshots, are you going to stand there and wait to see if the bullet hit you or are you getting out the way?"

Bragg released a statement concerning the incident which said in part, "Officers used a Taser to secure Anderson.  We are conducting an investigation into the claim of excessive force by Anderson's mother, and it would not be appropriate to address all of her claims at this time.  I also think that we should reinforce the need for members of the public to be cooperative with police when stopped and ask to see or speak with a supervisor if they feel mistreated in any way.  It is our goal to effectively police our city with the full cooperation of the public we serve and we regret all incidents where force must be used to faithfully perform our duties.

Tario Anderson is expected back in court Jan. 9.


Watch the video below, uploaded to YouTube by WYFF.

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