Officer zaps jail inmate |

Officer zaps jail inmate

A detention officer at the Moffat County Jail used a Taser gun on an inmate early Thursday morning for disorderly conduct, Moffat County Sheriff officials said.

The incident occurred at about 9 a.m. after the inmate allegedly threatened to assault a detention officer and three times refused to enter a lockdown chamber, Sgt. Ken Uecker said.

“This could have turned into a worse situation,” he said. “In order to stop a violent situation, we had to tase him. We had troubles with the inmate the night before.”

The male inmate, whom officials wouldn’t identify, is a prisoner being held at the county jail and on a waiting list to be transferred to the Colorado Department of Corrections, Uecker said.

The jail was filled Thursday with 75 inmates, Uecker said, about half of whom are prisoners who later will be transferred to DOC as beds there become available. Moffat County Jail has 88 beds.

Thursday’s incident marks the third time detention officers have used a Taser on an inmate.

The department purchased four of the stun guns last year that send a 50,000-volt burst of electricity through a victim for five seconds.

The result of being zapped –or merely the threat of it — usually can bring the most combative person into compliance, jail officials have said.

Staffing was short one officer at the jail Thursday, Uecker said. Two detention officers worked the jail’s pods as an administrative official staffed the master control room, Uecker said.

It would have taken two or three officers to subdue the inmate without the use of the Taser, he said.

“Any one of our officers could have been hurt,” Uecker said. “(Without a Taser), you’re looking at physically trying to take control of the situation.”

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