VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A man who says he called police for help but instead got tased, was in court Monday morning.
Brett Buchwald says Virginia Beach police used excessive force when they arrested him in April. Monday, he faced a judge on the three charges against him: failure to identify himself to a law enforcement officer, public intoxication, and resisting arrest.
On that night, April 4, police alleged, under the influence of mushrooms, Buchwald called 911 to his neighborhood for help. When officers arrived, he frantically ran from them. Officers say they used the taser to get him under control and into custody.
“They could have gotten Brett under control by any other means, they did not have to use this lethal and deadly force,” his attorney S.W. Dawson said.
Video: VB Police use taser during arrest (contains graphic content)
Buchwald pleaded no contest to the public intoxication charge. The judge found him guilty of failure to identify himself but threw out the final charge of resisting arrest, on the grounds that police never made it clear to Buchwald he was under arrest.
Buchwald’s attorney considers Monday’s outcome a victory. “If we had not won on the resisting arrest charge today, going forward on any sort of excessive force claim would have been very difficult, so winning today on the charge was paramount to the excessive force claim we intend to file,” Attorney S.W. Dawson told WAVY.com.
Dawson said without resisting arrest, officers should not have tased his client. As to why the judge decided to strike the charge of resisting arrest, Buchwald’s attorney had this to say:
“There was no flight here after Brett was placed under arrest. The officer’s testimony was that Brett was on the ground, he was wrestling with the officers more or less,” Dawson said. “He did not flee from the officers and that’s not resisting arrest within the legal definition it might seem like it was, but it wasn’t.”
WAVY News 10 will let you know when that lawsuit is filed.