Police: Drunk man turns Taser on officer during arrest

Police: Drunk man turns Taser on officer during arrest

EUGENE, Ore. -- A drunk man shocked a Eugene police officer with their own stun gun early Saturday morning after fighting with officers who tried to get him to leave a bar, police said.

Witnesses said Jessie Wright was out celebrating his 30th birthday on Friday night when bar staff at Good Times asked police to help escort him off the property.

Eugene Police Sgt. Kyle Williams said the incident started early Saturday morning when an officer was conducting a field sobriety check in the Good Times parking lot.

The officer conducting test said Wright and a friend interfered and said that the driver was being harassed.

Wright eventually went back to the bar, and employees asked police to stay close as they were "going to request Wright and his group leave due to their level of intoxication," police said.

A short time later one officer said he called for backup after wright approached his car and started yelling obscenities about the bar staff.

"[Wright] was out celebrating his birthday with friends at the bar. The group was really cooperative, and they were just trying to get him to leave peacefully," said Sgt. Williams.

At one point Jessie Wright (photo at right) started to walk away, but then police said he turned around and aggressively thrust his finger within inches of an officer's face.

Officers said they put Wright in an arm bar and told him he was under arrest.

Wright's friends Brandon and Anna both admitted that he had a few too many drinks. But they said that Wright wasn't being aggressive with the officers.

"How do you define an aggressively thrusting finger? I mean, that doesn't make any sense," Anna said.

He started to struggle and police warned him that they would use a Taser if he continued to fight the arrest, police said. 

Officials said Wright broke free of their hold and an officer shot him with a Taser. Wright was only hit with one probe, so the stun gun didn't affect him, police said.

Wright continued to resist the arrest, so another officer tried using a hand-held Taser.

"The suspect was able to grab the hand of the officer and redirect the Taser to the officers leg where it cycled a number of times," said Eugene Police Sgt. David Natt.

Brandon said he did see Wright reach his hand back and grab the Taser, but he did not turn it on the officers.

"He wouldn't try to harm a cop and make things worse," said Brandon. "At that point he went into a seizure."

Brandon said Jessie is prone to seizures and fell into one after being shocked. He told KVAL News that officers thought he was faking the seizure.

After using the Taser, officers pepper sprayed Wright and he eventually stopped fighting, police said.

"The whole thing was over relatively quickly," said Sgt. Williams. "This type of thing doesn't happen very often, thankfully."

Medics treated Wright and the officers at the scene before Wright was taken to the Lane County Jail. He faces charges of assault on an officer, unlawful use of a stun gun and resisting arrest.