MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ – According to recently-released bodyam footage from the Glendale, Arizona Police Department, an officer was forced to use his taser against a knife-wielding suspect, causing him to fall onto his own weapon and stab himself in the neck.
The incident originally occurred on November 23, when police say they responded to calls of a house fire that were deemed “suspicious.” When arriving at the scene, officers encountered an unnamed person who reports indicate was “acting odd,” and it was soon deemed that the individual was a potential suspect in the house fire.
According to bodycam footage, one of the officers began talking with the suspect; it appears from their conversation that the individual may have been an occupant of either the house that was on fire or one of its neighboring homes, as the officer tells him that he “can’t go back inside right now, it’s not safe.”
The officer also requests that the suspect keep away from firefighters at the scene so they “can collect all their hoses” and “do their jobs.”
However, at one point in the video the suspect suddenly produces a large kitchen knife, which the officer demands he drop; however, the man refuses to do so, and the officer then draws his taser from his holster, pointing it at the suspect and issuing repeated commands to “put the knife down.”
As the man continues to refuse to comply, the video shows the officer discharging his taser, striking him in the chest. The suspect, who at that point was holding the blade with both hands facing upward, proceeds to fall face-first onto the ground and directly onto the knife, gruesomely impaling himself in the neck.
The officer – who used the taser as a “less lethal” means of inducing compliance – can be seen trying to prevent the obviously forthcoming injury, but was too far away to stop the suspect from falling on his weapon in time.
The footage then shows the officer – who was cut by the knife as well – and a firefighter attempting to turn the man over, only to discover the knife horrifically jutting out of his neck, just below his jaw.
Officials say that the man, despite his injuries, continued to struggle and would not allow paramedics to treat him; however, he eventually allowed himself to be aided and was taken to a local area hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The officer who was cut was not seriously injured, police say.
Both the incident and the house fire are still under investigation, and police have yet to release the identity of the suspect that was injured.