Suicidal man saved from harm by police, Taser gun

An intoxicated man who slashed his wrists with a razor and shouted at police to shoot him at a Medford convenience store was taken safely to a hospital Sunday after officers shocked him with a Taser.

Medford police were called to OK Market, 1202 Riverside Ave., at 9:20 p.m. Sunday because an intoxicated man was violent and suicidal, Medford police Detective Sgt. Mike Budreau said. Responding officers found a 44-year-old man cutting himself with a broken safety razor that he refused to put down and calling on police to shoot him.

"Officers never want to do that, but they don't want to get cut by his weapon," Budreau said. "This is when tools like a Taser become very useful."

Rather than tussle with an intoxicated and heavily bleeding man, an officer incapacitated the man with the Taser, Budreau said. He was checked by paramedics and taken by police for mental health evaluation and treatment at Rogue Valley Medical Center.

Officers regularly use Tasers or pepper spray to incapacitate a suspect and avoid a violent confrontation in which an officer or suspect could be injured, he said.

All Medford patrol officers have carried a Taser since late 2005. Prior to that, the department had some of the shocking devices that officers could check out and carry with them while on patrol or when responding to a specific case, Budreau said.

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