Huntington, Va. resident Garrick Pridemore, 27, was tasered by a Williamsburg Police Department officer after struggling with a group of officers outside the Green Leafe Café on Scotland St. at approximately 2 a.m. Saturday.
An eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, reported that the incident occurred as the delis were closing for the night. Pridemore was urinating in a flowerbed when police approached him, the eyewitness said.
The officers asked for his identification, but Pridemore refused and tried to move past them. Officers then wrestled him to the ground and tasered him.
The WPD report goes into more detail.
“It started with a gentleman urinating in a flowerbed,” Major Suzanne Geary said. “An officer went over to speak about [the] urination.”
Police officers asked for Pridemore’s identification. Pridemore demanded to see the officers’ identification, getting up to one inch away from an officer’s face. He found his identification after first handing the officer his insurance card.
Officers noticed that Pridemore showed signs of intoxication — smelled of alcohol, was slurring his speech and had an unsteady balance. Police then informed him that he was under arrest. A struggle ensued, and an officer began wrestling with Pridemore.
“The officer tried to take him down with a basic takedown,” Geary said. “Pridemore [then] wrapped his legs around the officer’s upper body.”
According to the report, a second officer issued a command for Pridemore to stop, but Pridemore ignored it.
The second officer then administered a “dry stun,” applying an electric shock to his leg with the taser without discharging the electrodes.
“A third officer was involved and asked Mr. Pridemore to place his hands behind his back or he would be pepper-sprayed,” Geary said.
Pridemore then released his grip and was charged with public drunkenness. Police detained Pridemore until he sobered up. At this time, it appears that Pridemore will not be charged with public urination, resisting arrest or assaulting an officer.
Last March, College of William and Mary student Walter Luse ’12 was tasered and arrested for using false identification to buy alcohol.
While these two recent incidents ended with the discharge of a taser, Williamsburg police try to refrain from using the weapon.
“Most of the time when officers display their taser … people comply,” Geary said. “It gets displayed more than it gets used.”
_Flat Hat Managing Editor Sam Sutton contributed to this article._