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What you need to know for 05/22/2017

Man accused of taking Taser from Schenectady cop

Man accused of taking Taser from Schenectady cop

A city police officer’s Taser was ripped from his uniform in its holster during a fight with a suspe

A city police officer’s Taser was ripped from his uniform in its holster during a fight with a suspect Thursday evening, police said.

The suspect then pointed the weapon at the officer while it was still in the holster, police said. The suspect did not fire the Taser and could not have, police said, while it was still in the holster.

Mychal A. White, 28, of 519 Hegeman St., faces multiple felony charges, including robbery and weapons possession, for forcibly taking the Taser, police said.

The incident began just after 5 p.m. on Hegeman Street, when, police said, officers Brian Pommer and Zachery Weakley, on patrol in Bellevue, spotted a man and woman arguing in the street. The officers intervened, and the woman went into 519 Hegeman St. to retrieve property, police spokesman Lt. Mark McCracken said.

As she was coming out, a man inside pulled her back in, police said. The officers again intervened and were attacked by two men, McCracken said. During the struggle, White allegedly pulled the Taser and holster from Pommer and pointed it at the officer.

“He ripped the whole thing off,” McCracken said. “Because he ripped it off, he couldn’t get to the trigger and he couldn’t actually deploy it.

“Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”

The two officers called for backup, and more officers converged on the scene. Weakley and Pommer, though, had both men subdued by the time help arrived, police said.

Schenectady police Chief Brian Kilcullen said Friday this was the first time he can recall a Taser in a holster being ripped from an officer. City police got their first Tasers in 2010, and all officers had been issued one by the end of 2011.

Kilcullen noted that while it’s only happened once, “we’ll certainly look at it to see if there’s something else we can do to avoid even that one time.”

Kilcullen said taking the officer’s Taser also took away a less-lethal option from the officer.

Also charged was Jeragh K. Powell, 23, of 1712 Campbell Ave., who faces one count of second-degree attempted assault, a felony. He’s accused of trying to assault Weakley. Powell also faces misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration.

In all, White faces one count each of third-degree robbery, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, fourth-degree grand larceny and second-degree attempted assault, all felonies. White was charged with felony weapons possession because he’s barred from possessing any weapon, including a Taser, because of a prior conviction in 2007 in Schenectady for attempted drug possession, for which he served time in prison.

White also faces misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief, for damaging the holster and vest, as well as resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and menacing.

The woman, identified as Kimberly Powell, 35, of 1712 Campbell Ave., was charged with misdemeanor obstructing governmental administration. Court paperwork on that charge was not available Friday.

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