Police use TASER on distraught woman at gun store
St. Albans police say they used a Taser to keep a woman from injuring herself after she showed up at two gun shops expressing suicidal thoughts and demanding to make a purchase.
Police initially were dispatched to Dean's Pawn Shop on U.S. 60 about 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Clerks said the woman came into the store to buy a handgun but appeared distraught.
Capt. James Agee said the woman apparently told the clerks she wanted to kill herself. When clerks refused to make a sale, "she responded by attempting to climb over the counter to get at a gun," Agee wrote in a news release. "They forcibly removed her from the store and called 911."
A responding officer passed a car matching a description provided to dispatchers.
"It was thought she may be headed to another gun store," Agee wrote in the news release. "Another officer went there and waited. Sure enough she showed up outside St. Albans Gun & Archery."
When a traffic stop was attempted, she took off and led officers on a short pursuit. She drove down a dead end street of the 2500 block of McKinley Avenue, where she stopped the car. She wrapped her arms around the steering wheel and refused to get out.
"The woman, 53 years old from Putnam County, weighs over 200 pounds. Officers used a TASER in order not to injure her by forcibly removing her," Agee wrote. "She was quickly subdued after the TASER use." An ambulance was called for a mental evaluation. St. Albans Police said they were not releasing the woman's name because of the medical nature of her actions.
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