A sheriff’s deputy in South Carolina has been fired after his use of a taser on a 65-year-old unarmed man in a wheelchair was determined to be “inappropriate” and “not necessary” by internal investigators.
The incident occurred on Feb. 20, when a police officer with the Pickens City Police Department and three Pickens County deputies served a bench warrant at a home shared by 25-year-old Travis Antonio Mansell and his wheelchair-bound father, Parker Mansell Jr.
When the four officers arrived at the home, they observed the younger Mansell inside. But when they knocked on the door and asked for him, Mansell’s girlfriend lied and said he was not there.
The officers were able to get inside the home, but once there, Mansell refused to be arrested, telling the officers they would have to kill him first.
Mansell Jr., who has been in a wheelchair since suffering a stroke to the right side of his body 16 years ago, positioned himself between the officers and his son.
As the elder Mansell told WSPA, “he’s got that schizophrenia and bipolar.”
He said that his son told the officers, “don’t come up on me” and warned, “if you do, you’ll have to kill me to arrest me.”
The officers avoided that scenario by using a taser to subdue Mansell. That tactic was deemed to be reasonable and warranted given the circumstances, according to an internal investigation conducted after the incident.
Mansell Jr. admitted that he raised his left arm and pointed and cursed at the officers, but how deputy Ticknell responded next was ruled to be out of bounds.
He used a taser on Mansell Jr., knocking the disabled man out of his wheelchair and causing him to cut his foot open.
“It was awful,” Mansell Jr. told WSPA.
Ticknell later told investigators he used his taser in order to “prevent the father from injuring the deputies that were physically arresting the son.”
“Gracious alive, why did they tase me? I wasn’t a danger to them,” Mansell Jr. told WSPA.
Ticknell was fired on Wednesday for his actions.
“The father was confined to a wheelchair and was limited in mobility,” Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said in a press release.
“Though he was verbally upset, he posed no significant danger to the Deputies as he was unarmed and made no overt threats. The decision to use the Taser on Mr. Mansell, Jr was inappropriate and not necessary to protect any party nor was it necessary to the complete the arrest of Travis.”
“The deputies are supposed to be here to serve and protect,” Mansell Jr. told WSPA.
Mansell Jr. and his son’s girlfriend are still being investigating for interfering with an arrest. The younger Mansell is still in jail.