SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – The shocking video of a man tased at Wendy’s restaurant demonstrates the frequent confrontations faced by patrol officers.
Officers were forced to deploy the Taser on the man who refused to comply with orders. He made his first court appearance Friday morning, reported 7 News Miami.
Thirty-five-year-old Joaquin Labaut faced a judge following the incident at the fast food restaurant located near Southwest 211th Street and U.S. 1.
Miami-Dade Police responded just after 1 p.m., Wednesday afternoon, to a report of a disorderly customer.
According to a police report Labaut was harassing restaurant workers and became violent when police arrived and “started punching the walls while yelling obscenities,” the Miami Herald reported.
Cellphone video shot from across the street shows officers arriving and some employees and customers running out of both sides of the building.
Investigators said officers tried to calm Labaut down, but the situation escalated.
It is unknown if controlled substances or alcohol were involved, but the incident had the earmarkings of someone who wasn’t thinking like a rational person. Furthermore, the head of the Miami-Dade Police Department says the arrest shows the difficulty of dealing with people in public places who may be mentally ill.
Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez told the Herald that officers showed restraint — especially because Labaut was agitated and was much bigger than two of the officers who were at the scene, according to the Sun Sentinel.
“They chose not to up the use of force under the circumstances,” Perez told the Herald adding that the confrontation “ended well.”
One of the officers shows Labaut what appears to be a Taser and says, ‘You’ve felt this one time before, right? I need you to put your arms behind your back.’ When he refuses to comply, the other officer tells him to get down on the floor, reported Daily Mail.
Labaut took off behind the counter and headed towards the kitchen with officers following close behind.
Police deployed their Tasers, but they didn’t have the desired effect.
Labaut, who is 6-3 and weighs around 240 pounds, pulled out the Taser wires and backed away toward the drive-thru window, where terrified employees tried to stay away from the volatile suspect.
The confrontational man then took off again and headed toward the front of the restaurant. As his non-compliance continued, and the Tasers did not have the desired effect, officers were force to use baton strikes.
Eventually, it all came to an end when the man went to the ground and officers were finally able to take him into custody.
The confrontation could have ended with severe injuries or worse a top police official said. However, it didn’t because of the restraint exercised by officers at the scene, reported the Sun Sentinel.
The 35-year-old now faces three counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, one count of simple battery, one count of disorderly conduct, four counts of resisting an officer without violence and three counts of resisting an officer with violence.