A 78-year-old man was stunned with a Taser device by Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) police Thursday, December 4th, at 1:30 p.m. after he allegedly entered the Los Angeles Airport Police station to retrieve his impounded vehicle and began arguing, threatening, and moving towards officers after being notified that his vehicle would not be released to him, police say.
The Lancaster resident — identified by airport police as William Albert Lamb, a six-foot-one, 170-pound retired engineer — was stunned by the Taser gun and treated by Los Angeles City Fire Department paramedics for a wrist abrasion sustained during the incident, police say.
He was taken to a nearby hospital.
“Based upon preliminary review of the incident, there appears to be no evidence indicating the Airport Police officer’s use of force did not comport with the law and department policy,” a LAX Police spokesman said. “In addition, although the suspect was elderly, his size and strength were considered by the police officers to be exceptional, given his age.”
Police said that a “full and complete analysis of the incident will be performed” and a final determination will be made after two LAX Police Department reviews of the incident.
The incident was apparently captured on video surveillance.
The LAX Police Department is asking the Los Angeles city attorney to file misdemeanor charges against Lamb for disturbing the peace and obstructing an officer.
“The police sergeant who applied the (Taser) device is a 16-year veteran of Airport Police and Los Angeles Harbor Police, and has served as a Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) certified trainer in the application of the Taser device in use of force situations,” the Airport Police spokesman said.
Airport Police say Lamb entered the police station to retrieve his vehicle, which had been impounded, but was unable to get his car because of an expired vehicle registration. Lamb allegedly left to check if his vehicle was in the Airport Police impound lot, which it was.
Lamb allegedly returned to the station lobby, began to argue with officers, “became extremely irate, made threats, moved repeatedly toward the officers who allegedly asked Lamb to keep his distance,” the spokesman said.
He “did not respond to police officers’ verbal attempts to de-escalate the situation, resisted the officers’ attempts to search his person for weapons after agreeing to be searched and then resisted the officers’ physical attempts to restrain him,” Airport Police allege.
Police say that Lamb was warned several times that the Taser would be used if he did not comply with officers.
“The device was administered twice after the first contact was ineffective due to the suspect’s clothes,” the spokesman said. “The officers held the suspect to prevent his falling to the ground and laid him into a recovery position to await the arrival of paramedics.”
Airport Police decided to release Lamb from custody and pursue criminal filing through the complaint application process.