Sheriff's deputy tases man cutting himself at SGMC

Sheriff's deputy tases man cutting himself at SGMC

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A Valdosta man was recovering Thursday evening after being tased by a Lowndes County sheriff's deputy for refusing verbal commands to stop cutting himself.

According to releases from the Valdosta Police Department and the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, around 9 a.m. Thursday a man was seen walking an SGMC parking lot making threats to harm himself.

Hospital security and both the sheriff's office and police department were notified and a search began to try to find the man.

According to the releases, the man was found under SGMC's Patterson St. parking deck using a knife to cut his wrist and neck.

Lowndes Co. Sheriff's Deputy Anthony Johnson used his taser to shoot the man after the man refused to listen to Johnson's pleas to stop cutting himself. After firing his taser, Johnson and VPD Officers Stephen Turnmeyer and Phillip Hay, along with hospital security, subdued the man and took him into the hospital to be treated for his cuts.

In the release from the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Chris Prine praised Johnson's action. "[I am] proud of all the employees of [my] office, but the decisive actions of Deputy Anthony Johnson to deploy his taser and incapacitate the male no doubt prevented this man from possibly ending his own life or injuring someone else," stated Sheriff Prine.

In the release from the Valdosta Police Department, Chief Brian Childress also emphasized the importance of the actions of all everyone involved.

"Because of the quick reactions of SGMC Security Staff, Valdosta Police Officers Stephen Turnmeyer and Philp Hay, and Deputy Anthony Johnson, they probably saved the male's life. This is the kind of work officers and deputies do each day, protecting our citizens from themselves and others," Chief Childress stated.

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