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Man Tasered During Dash for Black Friday Deals at Walmart: Eyewitness

A shopper says two men are taken out of the store in handcuffs.

The mad dash for Black Friday deals at led to an incident inside the store tonight in which a man was reportedly tasered, according to an eyewitness.

Shortly after the 10 p.m. sale items were released, a commotion broke out toward the rear of the store. "Several people screamed and ran away from a large crowd, mentioning something about a fight as they headed towards the store exit," reported Brian D'Amico, who was at the store.

"Others in the crowd starting taking out and using their picture phones. A Milford Police officer rushed down the aisle into the crowd, where [they] proceeded to handcuff a man on the ground that had just been tasered by another officer already on scene."

D'Amico said police escorted the man who had been tasered and another man out of the store in handcuffs. "Within minutes seven Milford Police cruisers were parked in front of the store. None had been there before this incident, though an officer was standing outside the store with security personnel before this occurred," D'Amico said.

responded with an Engine and Rescue ambulance, as well as American Medical Response, according to D'Amico.

Milford police declined to comment until a police spokesman was available on Friday. The fire department would only confirm that they responded to Walmart for a medical call.

RONALD M GOLDWYN November 25, 2011 at 09:03 AM
Tazered - to me that is like shooting me in the heart with bullets as I have a builtin defribulator/pacemaker. To me the Police don't have the right to shoot first and ask questions later. Citizens have the right to a warning before using lethal force on any one especially in the incident described.
BJ November 25, 2011 at 10:40 AM
Ron, the article isn't about you. Why would the police want to taser you? Since you weren't there, how do you 'know' there was no warning, or are you just blowing smoke at the expense of Milford's Finest?
Jim Goldstein November 25, 2011 at 02:15 PM
RON, As a retired Police Officer I know that you do not "Tazer" anyone with out first warning them that if they do not stop their agressive acts they will be Tazared. I don't know what the cercumstances were and I was not present at the time, but I beleive that the Police Officer did warn the suspect to stop or he would be "Tazered".
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 25, 2011 at 03:13 PM
Jim and Bob, I have read to statements of the man who was Tazered and his wife, and if true we have a trigger happy cop who shot the wrong man. He shot the victim and not the perp, before learning what had happened after the rush to get the games and the stampede that knocked the victim. and the young girl to the ground. Yes they were given a warning, but the victim. was still being assaulted by the father of the child according to his statement. All I know is that had I been the person seeking to buy the games in the same situation, I would have been dead before any of the true facts would have become known. We give our P.O.s awsom responsibility and while a tazer may not KILL the normal person, it will kill me even if it was accidental. I question the judgement of this P.O. I believe he shot the wrong person. Reply
JE November 25, 2011 at 04:51 PM
Did Patch have a reported at the seen or are they paraphrasing what was reported in another paper? The comments of this witnes are almost identical to those in the New Haven Register. And how could Mr. Damico know what was going on outside the store (i.e. his comment about no police being there prior to the incident) if he was at the back of the store where all the commotion was? Sounds like someone just looking to get his name in the paper. And to Mr. Goldwyn, where did you read statements from the man tazered and his wife? I've read the reports in three publications and see no statements from anyone other than Damico. In any case, these Black Fridays have gotten out of hand. 9 times out of 10 the best deals being offered have limited availability in each store so unless there is some sort of crowd control in place, these stampedes are only going to get worse as years go on. Saving $50 is not worth loss of life or serious injury,
Amy November 25, 2011 at 06:02 PM
From the Milford Police Dept. website: INCIDENT: ASSAULT DATE: 11-24-11 TIME: 2200 REPORT # 8781-11 OFFICER: ROBBINS LOCATION: 1365 BOSTON POST ROAD ARRESTEE: BRIAN SHELLNUTT (26) 9 WEST RUTLAND ROAD, MILFORD CHARGE (S): ASSAULT 3RD BREACH OF PEACE 2ND RISK OF INJURY BOND: PTA COURT DATE: 12-13-11 POLICE RECEIVED A COMPLAINT OF A DISTURBANCE INVOLVING CUSTOMERS AT THE WAL-MART STORE. INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT A DISTURBANCE TOOK PLACE WHERE SHOPPERS WERE WAITING TO PURCHASE VIDEO GAMES. A FATHER WAS ATTEMPTING TO ASSIST HIS 11 YEAR OLD SON WHO WAS KNOCKED TO THE GROUND BY THE CROWD WHEN HE WAS CONFRONTED BY SHELLNUTT. ANOTHER CUSTOMER ASSISTED THE FATHER AND CHILD WHEN SHELLNUTT ALLEGEDLY STRUCK THE OTHER CUSTOMER. DURING THE ALTERCATION, AN OFFICER TOLD THE MALES TO STOP AT WHICH TIME SHELLNUTT CONTINUED AND ATTEMPTED TO STRIKE THE OTHER CUSTOMER AGAIN. AN ELECTRONIC CONTROL DEVICE WAS DEPLOYED TO GAIN CONTROL OF SHELLNUTT WHO IGNORED THE OFFICER’S WARNINGS AND REQUESTS.
Gary Jeanfaivre (Editor) November 25, 2011 at 08:12 PM
JE: Mr. D'Amico contacted Patch with this information; he also sent it to the Register. That is why the information contained in both reports is so similar. Amy: thanks for posting the information from Milford Police - you beat me to the punch.
BJ November 26, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Ron, once again the article is not about you and your pacemaker. Perhaps you could tell us where you read the statements of the man who was tasered. Thanks to Amy, we have the police report (see below) and there's no mention of that child's father being part of the fight that the report says was between Mr. Shellnut and another customer. Maybe, just maybe, the cop on-site has more insight than do you. In a nutshell, it sounds like Mr. Shellnut ignored warnings and requests to desist and the cop took him down with a taser. Better that than a baton to the head, no? And if you're so terrified of a trigger happy cop taking YOU down with a taser, what do you plan on doing and why would you ignore a request and then a warning? Maybe you can arrange in-home counseling to help you deal with an irrational fear, that way you can stay inside where the blue meanies can't get you. Back when I was a teen I backtalked an NYPD cop and got the baton. I think a taser would have been more merciful. But the cop's going to protect himself and others, which makes absolute sense to me. And if you're so afraid of cops, next time you need help, call somebody from OWS or ONH.
Rusty November 26, 2011 at 02:26 AM
The real problem is stores only advertise say 50 of something for a cheap price and there's 500 people wanting the item.Walmart and others are just asking for trouble and it looks like Mr Shellnutt found some.Ron,you better stick to shopping online
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 26, 2011 at 04:39 AM
Bob, May you never need a defribulator, but thousands of people do, and Yes it is about my pacemaker and what a 50,000v shock can do to me.
BJ November 26, 2011 at 10:40 AM
Ron, that's all very interesting but totally irrelevant to the article, which, once again, is not about you and your maladies.
Gary Jeanfaivre (Editor) November 26, 2011 at 01:17 PM
Rusty raises a good point. Since stores often only offer a steep discount on a limited number of products on Black Friday, should they have a raffle for people to buy them rather than invite everyone?
John Pasnau November 26, 2011 at 01:52 PM
The whole point is to bring 500 people into the store while only sacrificing profits on 50 or so items. What is needed at this point are some well thought out "Black Friday" laws that control retailer behavior. This is not unprecedented. Remember when the laws went into effect to control Bars and their "Happy Hour" specials? The time has come to control those who have made Black Friday a national horror.
Rusty November 26, 2011 at 02:58 PM
"word"!!
Robert Hanawalt November 29, 2011 at 02:09 AM
Bob, you're missing the point Ronald is making. There is a potentially life-threatening "incident" waiting to happen here. So, it's acknowledged that the police tazered the wrong man. What if that wrong man had a pacemaker and went into a cardiac arrest, or worse, died as a result of the tazering? What would you say then? And not for nothing, but why do you defend the cops after getting hit with a baton as a teen by an NYPD cop? Since when is "backtalking" a cop an act that threatens him? There's such a thing as freedom of speech in this country, or have you blindly accepted unjustified assault by an errant police officer?
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 29, 2011 at 01:08 PM
Mr Hanawait, You are correct in explaining my point of view. In CT it is legal to by a tazer, but it is a crime to remove it from the point of purchase. Guns are easier to obtain. I plan to bring before our new Mayor and the Board of Aldermen in Milford, the matter of having 500 customers rushing for 50 discounted items with no orderly distribution. We had the potential for a stampede with a child almost trampled. I will also bring up the use of tazers in croud control.
RIck George November 29, 2011 at 07:48 PM
Mob mentality is a very dangerous mix in any situation. A police officer has only seconds to make a decision and move to get a volatile situation under control before the mob explodes (and therefore given these particular circumstance acted appropriately). I have seen the calmest most rational people lose it and do things that they would never do otherwise, save they were in a mob. I watched youtube videos of this incident with the photographers commentary was "the only reason I'm here is to catch a good fight on video” Retailers are interested in only one thing which is making money which of course is their right. They think in moving quanity with no thought to the consumers well being or satisfaction (sad sign of the times). They know that if they set up these "feeding frenzies" that people will buy anything not to come home empty handed . My way of thinking the retailers are at fault here, Hiring police just further proves the point that you feel that there are going to be problems. They created the hype and "excitement" and the shortage of the below retail price "draw" items shame on them especially in these particularly bad economic times. You know folks you hold the power to stop these types of events, to coin an anti drug phase “just say no” just don’t attend, stay at home with your family and be safe stop being a corporate puppet. Do more shopping at your local merchants, you will be treated much better and as an individual or safely buy online.

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