TULSA, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma sheriff’s deputy who was facing a knife-wielding man said she holstered her gun and instead subdued him with a Taser when she realized he was trying to get her to kill him.
Tulsa County Sheriff’s Deputy Catherine Curtin was flagged down Monday at an apartment building by someone saying a man with two large knives was threatening people.
Curtin told KJRH-TV that she had the man at gunpoint but switched to the Taser when she saw him showing “classic suicide-by-cop” behavior.
“At this point, I had him at gunpoint,” Curtin told the station. “He turned toward me and started walking toward me saying, ‘Shoot me, kill me,’ over and over.”
Curtin said at some point, she decided to use her Taser and twice shocked the 60-year-old man, who was later jailed. The suspect, Timothy H. Worsham, was booked on complaints of assault with a dangerous weapon and public intoxication. He’s being held in the Tulsa jail on $10,000 bond and is due in court Dec. 18. Jail records didn’t list an attorney for him.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Casey Roebuck praised Curtin’s reliance on “years of experience and training” to avert a situation that could have been much worse.
“We are very proud of Deputy Curtin,” Roebuck said in a statement Wednesday. “Curtin and our agency are grateful that no one was seriously injured in this dangerous situation, all thanks to (her) action.”
Police use of deadly versus less-lethal force has been in the public dialogue.
Earlier this month, an Oklahoma City officer was charged with second-degree murder after he fatally shot a suicidal man. Another responding officer had fired on the man with a bean bag gun.
Information from: KJRH-TV, http://www.kjrh.com
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