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Lawyers, Guns and Tasers

A Minnesota lawyer is being cited for bravery today after he was wounded while helping police nab a fleeing criminal suspect, who they finally subdued using a Taser. Meanwhile, a California lawyer faces possible charges relating to the use of a Taser on his client -- and himself.

In Minnesota, the Star-Tribune reports on Faegre & Benson partner Keith P. Radtke's role in subduing a man who allegedly terrorized neighborhoods in two states. Radtke and his wife had just put their three sons to bed and were headed downstairs to relax when their front door flew open. A ragged-looking man with a rifle forced Radtke and his wife toward the garage. The Star-Tribune describes what happened then:

"When they got into the garage, Radtke saw an opportunity and pounced, knocking the rifle out of the suspect's hands.

"Radtke put the suspect in a bear hug and yelled for his wife to go inside and call 911, Hutton said. She did.

"Radtke didn't realize there also was a .45-caliber gun in the suspect's waistband, and the suspect was able to get a hold of it and shot Radtke in the lower back.

"Radtke continued to struggle with the suspect and knocked the handgun across the garage floor. The suspect bit Radtke several times, and Radtke put him in a wrestling hold.

"Nearby officers arrived at the scene, separated the men and used a Taser to subdue the suspect."

As of Saturday, Radtke was listed in good condition at a hospital in St. Paul. Local authorities thanked the lawyer for his bravery, saying that if he had not stopped the suspect, others might have been injured.

Meanwhile, in California, defense lawyer Peter Schlueter may face charges for having his expert witness demonstrate a Taser's force by shooting it at his client and himself, reports the Orange County Register. In a videotape played in court, a defense expert witness used a Taser on Schlueter's client, George Engman -- and also on Schlueter and his twin brother -- as evidence of their contention that police used excessive force in arresting Engman. "The videotape played in court showed Engman writhing as he was shocked and also the marks left by the device on Engman, Schlueter and Schlueter's brother," the newspaper says. Apparently, the district attorney was also shocked: the DA said the lawyer and his expert might face prosecution for violating the state's Protection of Human Subjects in Medical Experimentation Act.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on August 27, 2007 at 06:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)


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