Deputies subdue knife-wielding man with taser

Two Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputies could have used deadly force late Monday night when a man with a large butcher knife charged and threatened to kill them if they wouldn’t shoot him first, but instead deployed tasers, a non-lethal stun gun.
Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said Deputies Eric Fletcher and Mark Burden were called to a rural home in southwest Pottawatomie County where a man was upset and allegedly “tearing up a house.”
When deputies arrived, Palmer said the man, 32, came outside and yelled obscenities at the deputies, then ran back into the house and locked the door.
Palmer said the man made reference to the fact that his brother was shot and killed by police in another state three years ago, and that he “wanted cops to come kill him like they did his brother.”
Deputies could see through a window that the man was in the kitchen, where he grabbed a large butcher knife and large grilling fork.
“He exited the door and ran toward the deputies,” Palmer said, then told deputies, ‘“I will kill you if you don’t kill me.’”
Both deputies told the man to put the knife and fork down. Burden drew his sidearm while Fletcher drew a taser weapon.
The man refused to drop the knife and fork. When he advanced toward the deputies and was about seven feet away, Fletcher deployed his taser, Palmer said. The taser, which fired a pair of barbed spikes into the man’s skin, had an electrical charge that rendered the man motionless long enough for deputies to kick the knife and fork out of the way and handcuff him.
REACT EMS paramedics responded to the scene to remove the spikes from his skin. Palmer said the man was transported to a hospital for evaluation.
The sheriff’s captain said the deputies handled the situation well and it ended with a good resolve.
“They could have used deadly force but opted for less lethal means,” Palmer said.
This is the second time in recent months that deputies were able to avoid using deadly force when faced with a similar situation.
In April, six deputies held their fire when a woman who had been threatening suicide pointed a weapon at them. After negotiations, the woman surrendered and dropped the firearm.
In the end, deputies learned the woman’s black pistol, which looked like a 9 mm handgun, was actually a BB gun.