Suspicions over bad checks led to a brief foot chase through Rotterdam Square mall this week, and the first use of a Taser by Rotterdam police.
When the incident was over, two people were charged with possessing handguns inside the mall, one of them a 15-year-old boy and the other a 23-year-old man, who was hit twice by police with the Taser, an incapacitating weapon.
The Taser was added to the police department’s equipment two months ago.
The incident began at about 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Glenn Peter Jewelers in the mall. Workers there reported suspicions over checks and alerted authorities with descriptions of the people who allegedly attempted to pass them.
Officer Patrick Keough caught up with one of the suspects, identified as Kquan P. Brockington, 23, of Schenectady, at the Zumiez store.
Brockington, however, did not want to speak with Keough, began to walk away and touched his waistband, Deputy Police Chief William Manikas said.
“[Keough] repeatedly tells him if he doesn’t stop, he will be Tased,” Manikas said. “The man doesn’t and remains combative and officer Keough Tased the gentleman.”
But, Manikas said, it didn’t stop there.
A woman who had been with Brockington, identified as Alexandra C. Pina, 19, of Schenectady, allegedly jumped on Keough as he was making the arrest.
In the commotion, Brockington apparently removed the barbs from the Taser and got away.
Keough, then joined by Officer Benjamin Paniccia, chased Brockington into the parking lot, where the suspect was again hit with the jolt of the Taser.
When officers got him in cuffs, they found a .32-caliber handgun in Brockington’s pocket, Manikas said.
Witnesses reported seeing two other people with Brockington and Pina. One was believed to be a 15-year-old boy, who was later located by security with a 3-year-old and an infant.
Upon questioning the teen, Officer Jeff Collins patted him down and found a 9mm handgun hanging from the drawstring of his pants. It was tied through the trigger guard, Manikas said.
A fourth person reportedly with the group has not been located.
Manikas said Tasers were purchased by the police department for about $600 apiece, plus training. He declined to say how many were purchased.
The weapons deliver a five-second jolt of electricity to incapacitate individuals so they can be subdued. It’s also supposed to have no after-effects. Brockington did not require treatment afterward, Manikas said.
Prolonged fights cause injuries to suspects and police, he said.
“They do have limitations,” Manikas said. “Brockington ripped the electrodes out. Once they’re ripped out, it no longer works.”
The weapon can be reset, but that can take a few seconds.
The weapon is also not a response to deadly physical force. Officers still have their service weapons. Brockington was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a felony, resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration, misdemeanors. Pina was charged with resisting arrest and criminal impersonation, misdemeanors. Both were arraigned and ordered held.
The 15-year-old was also charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was placed in secure detention pending an appearance in Family Court.
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Categories: Schenectady County