Cops use Taser after man refuses to let go of sword as home burns.
By STAN MADDUX
Two LaPorte County sheriff's deputies responding to a report of a house fire wound up in a fierce struggle with a man who refused to leave the smoke-filled dwelling over a sword.
The man didn't let go of the sword until he was struck with Taser darts, police said.
Police revealed Monday that warrants seeking charges of criminal recklessness and resisting law enforcement, both Class D felonies, are being pursued against 50-year-old Peter Thompson, who was taken to LaPorte Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained when two probes carrying 50,000 volts fired from the Taser stuck into his back.
According to LaPorte County police, emergency responders were called about 6 p.m. Friday to the house on North 125 West near Springville. Smoke was filtering out the front door when Deputies Al Ott and Donald Hicks went inside and urged Thompson to leave.
Police said Thompson was sitting on a couch with a blanket draped over his right hand. He refused commands to show his hands, so one of the deputies removed the blanket, and in his right hand was the handle of a sword. It was being held in such a way that the blade was behind the man's back, said police.
Hicks grabbed the handle of the sword while the other officers grabbed both the man's hand and the blade, which was covered by a scabbard.
Hicks in his report said Thompson refused to obey commands to let go of the sword as he and the other deputy tried desperately to maintain control of the weapon.
At one point, Hicks let go of Thompson's hand and reached for his Taser.
Thompson pulled the sword out of its sheath and pointed the 2-foot-long silver blade at Ott.
Hicks immediately fired his Taser, allowing Ott to remove the sword from Thompson's clutches, police said.
Springfield Township Fire Chief Steve Marvel said Monday there was just minimal fire damage to the residence.
He said Thompson lit some articles in the home on fire and the blaze burned itself out as firefighters were arriving.
“It was more of a police matter than a fire matter,” Marvel said.
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