Officer.com Online Exclusive

N.M. Officer Bitten After Taser Malfunctions

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --

Under pressure after a number of officer-involved shootings, Albuquerque police have stepped up use of non-lethal force to subdue suspects, but that didn't work for one officer who was attacked after his stun gun malfunctioned.

Now, the Albuquerque Police Department is trying to figure out what went wrong.

Police got a call on Sunday night that a man was trying to break down another man's front door. When an officer arrived, Jesus Gomez, 33, ran at him, screaming for the officer to use a Taser on him, police said.

"Once he saw the officer, he started running at him and during the time he was running at him, he was saying, ‘Taze me, Taze me.' The officer immediately deployed his Taser, however it malfunctioned. It cycled, but it didn't deploy the probes," APD Officer Rob Gibbs said.

Because the Taser malfunctioned, Gibbs said the officer was put in grave danger. The officer ended up scuffling with Gomez until Gomez bit the officer on the arm and the officer had to be taken to the hospital, police said. Sometime during the scuffle, the stun gun started to work again, but it shocked both the officer and Gomez.

Now, APD is trying to determine what went wrong.

"We have our academy staff that trains on Taser -- they're going to take that Taser and evaluate it, contact the company and see if there was some sort of malfunction," Gibbs said.

Gibbs said a Taser malfunction is rare, but officers have to be ready for anything.

"It's unnerving but that's what we get paid to do, that's our job," Gibbs said.

As for the officer, he's being watched for the next few weeks to see if the bite has given him any illness or blood-borne disease. HIPAA laws prevent Action 7 News from obtaining Gomez's medical history.

Gibbs said all of APD's 1,100 officers carry Tasers. It's unclear when the last stun gun malfunction happened.

Copyright 2011 by KOAT.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Loading