Man tased after obstructing police, says they aren’t ‘the real police’

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Aug 7, 2020 at 11:28 AM EDT

VALDOSTA – The following incident reports and camera footage were filed by the Valdosta Police Department regarding the arrest of David Carter on January 14, 2019 on charges of felony obstruction.

Please note, body camera footage is not releasable until after the case has been fully adjudicated and is considered closed.

Editors Note: Some names and addresses in the following transcription(s) may have been redacted to protect the innocent. Errors may exist. We don’t fix spelling/grammatical errors made by the agency:

Transcription of Narrative Report by Officer Stephenson

On 1/14/2019 at 0408 hours I responded to 2110 W Hill Avenue (Regency Inn) Room 210 in reference to a report of a suspicious person. Upon my arrival, I observed Officer Fletcher attempting to speak with both parties, both of whom appeared to be emotionally distressed. I made contact with David Carter, and asked him to speak with me.

Carter began acting in an extremely paranoid manner, advising his mother (who he was on the phone with) to “call the law because these aren’t the real cops” and that he (me) “is going to fight me, he has his gloves on”, referring to the black protective gloves that I was presently wearing.

Carter continued to behave in an erratic and paranoid fashion, stating that there were “meth pipes” in his last hotel room, and I continued to attempt to calm him in order to speak with him in reference to this incident. I then asked Carter what his name was, and he provided this information to me. I was then able to begin speaking to Carter about this incident, and he advised me that he believed that the female he was staying with had attempted to “set him up” to be robbed.

I asked Carter what he had observed that led him to this conclusion and he advised me that he saw two males outside his room when he had briefly opened the door. Carter stated that he then immediately closed the door because the mannerisms displayed by these subjects led him to believe they intended to harm him. I asked Carter what these subjects had done to lead him to this conclusion and he stated again that their demeanor appeared hostile, and then made a shoving motion. I asked Carter if these subjects had attempted to force open the door, and he stated that he had never opened the door fully.

Officer Fletcher and I were then advised by the E911 dispatcher that Carter’s mother had requested contact via phone in reference to this incident. Officer Fletcher then began to walk down the stairs to retrieve his phone from his vehicle, and Carter began to walk after him, continuing to behave erratically and asking where Officer Fletcher was going.

I explained to Carter that Officer Fletcher was going to make a phone call to his (Carter’s) mother in reference to Carter’s concerns that the “real” police were not on scene. Carter continued to walk towards the stairs and I continued to attempt to calm Carter and asked him to stay with me and continue speaking to me, explaining that Officer Fletcher was only leaving in order to contact Carter’s mother as she had requested.

Carter then displayed further erratic behavior, walking at a brisk pace away from me and down the stairs, presumably to interfere with Officer Fletcher. Carter then began screaming at me that I was going to “take him to jail” and I advised him that this was not the case. Carter then screamed something to the effect of “well you’re taking me to jail so I’m going down there” and continued to shout erratically at me as he descended the stairs.

After reaching the bottom of the stairs, Carter sprinted away from me and I chased after him. After a short distance Carter turned towards me and squared his body as if preparing to strike me. I then tackled Carter to the ground and a short struggle ensued as I attempted to gain control of Carter’s hands while giving him verbal commands to stay on the ground. Carter then broke free and stood up, and I stood up with him. Carter then struck me several times on the forehead with both fists and began to flee. I then deployed my department issued X26 CEW, striking Carter in the left upper back and right buttock and energizing him with one five second cycle.

NMI [Neuro Muscular Incapacitation] was achieved and Carter fell to the ground, sustaining facial lacerations. Carter was then handcuffed to the rear by Officer Fletcher while I maintained control of my CEW. EMS was notified and Carter received medical treatment in reference to striking his head on the parking lot surface.

I removed the probes from Carter’s person, ensuring that the barbs were present on each probe, taking pictures of their placement prior to removal, and secured them inside the fired CEW cartridge. Due to Carter presently being clothed and in handcuffs, further treatment of the probe site was not performed on scene, and Carter was then taken into the care of paramedics, and transported via ambulance to SGMC for higher care, with Officer Fletcher riding to the hospital in the back of the ambulance. The fired CEW cartridge, probes, and several AFIDs from the cartridge were collected and placed inside my latex gloves. These will later be submitted to Property/Evidence.

My body worn camera was activated on this call and the video will be downloaded to the appropriate database. I will be applying for warrants for two counts of Obstruction in reference to this case.

End Transcription

Transcription of Narrative Report by Officer Fletcher

On 1/14/2019 at approximately 0400 hours, I was dispatched to 2110 West Hill Avenue in response to a report of two suspicious men standing outside of room 240.

Upon arrival, I made contact with David Carter who advised me that approximately one hour prior to my arrival, two men were outside of his hotel room door. Carter explained that he believed that the two men intended to rob him when he exited the room. Carter stated that he opened his hotel room door long enough to see the men and then “slammed it shut”.

When asked why he believed they were going to rob him, Carter responded “you just know when someone is going to do something”. Carter advised that at no time did the two men attempt to make entry to the room.

I spoke with Amanda [WITNESS #1] [WITNESS #1] seemed upset and explained that she never saw anyone outside of the room and advised that Carter was not acting like normal. [WITNESS #1] stated that she was worried that Carter was going to harm her if she was left alone with him. After hearing this, Carter picked up his phone and started talking to what appeared to be his mother on the phone. During this conversation, Carter stated “call the police, these are not real police officers, momma help”.

While speaking with Carter and [WITNESS #1], dispatch advised that the mother of Carter had requested a phone call from the officers on scene. I left Carter with Officer Stephenson and asked [WITNESS #1] to step down the stairs to the bottom floor while I walked to the car to retrieve Carter’s mother’s telephone number from my in-car computer.

When I arrived at my patrol car, Officer Stephenson called out on the radio that he had began chasing Carter. When I caught up with Officer Stephenson and Carter, Carter was punching Officer Stephenson multiple times in the head with a closed fist. When Officer Stephenson regained his footing, he deployed his department issued Axon TASER CEW at Carter. Carter fell to the ground and I applied handcuffs to the rear which were double locked and checked for correct fit.

South Georgia Medical Center EMS Squad 5 arrived on scene and treated Carter for his injuries. Carter had abrasions to both of his hands and feet and a large open wound to the right side of his face and above his eye. Pictures of his injuries were taken with my department issued Motorola body camera, labeled, and uploaded to the database.

Carter was transported to South Georgia Medical Center emergency room by Squad 5. I accompanied Carter to SGMC in the ambulance and stood by with him while he was being treated in the emergency department. Carter was issued an Axon TASER CEW injury care form and advised how to care for the injuries left by the probes. I was relieved of watch by Valdosta Police Officer May.

The events were recorded on my Motorola body camera, labeled, and uploaded to the database. This concluded my involvement in this case.

End Transcription