In California’s Rancho Corral de Tierra (part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area), a National Park Service Ranger reportedly shot Gary Hesterberg in the back with a taser after he walked away during a confrontation over walking his two lapdogs off leash. He was then arrested on suspicion of failing to obey a lawful order, having dogs off-leash and knowingly providing false information. The park service spokesperson reportedly said it is all part of teaching citizens about the new leash law in the area . . . or teaching Hesterberg to heel.
Witnesses objected that the force was excessive and said that the ranger refused to respond when confronted over the necessity or reason for the arrest.
The ranger says that Hesterberg gave a false name and then began to walk away from the ranger. Howard Levitt, a spokesman for the park service, added that he did not have identification on him. Levitt explained that the ranger “pursued him a little bit and she did deploy her [electric-shock weapon] . . . That did stop him.”
It is common for people to walk their dogs off leash in the area, but when the area was made part of the national park system in December, a new leash rule was imposed.
The article below says that Levitt explained that “the ranger was trying to educate residents of the rule.” Wow, if true, that is quite a lesson plan. Stop, explain, tase, and repeat.
The account of these witnesses not only raises serious questions of excessive force but also excessive charges that followed the alleged abuse. We have seen other cases of alleged abuse where citizens have been hit with an array of charges. This creates significant pressure for the accused to plead or remain silent. I do not see why a taser would be needed on such a minor offense.
Source: SF Gate