By WECT Staff | August 2, 2020 at 12:22 PM EDT – Updated August 2 at 6:44 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A Wilmington Police officer deployed his taser Saturday night after responding to a driver who had crashed into a church and tried to dispose of a firearm by throwing it into another car before being arrested.
“Around 7 p.m. Saturday, August 1, a member of the Wilmington Police Department Traffic Unit responded to a collision on N. 29th St. near Market St. A vehicle had run off the roadway to the left and struck a church. The driver, 28-year-old Taquan Perlie James, attempted to leave the scene prior to the officer’s arrival, and refused to comply with several orders once the officer was on scene. At the same time, a crowd began to form,” according to police.
The officer tried to get James to preform a field sobriety test but he began walking towards another vehicle while reaching into his front waistband with his back turned.
“The officer attempted to detain him and place him in handcuffs, but James was able to free one hand and remove a revolver from his pants. He threw the firearm into the driver’s lap before attempting to walk away again. The officer continued to struggle with James while an agitated crowd formed behind them. Unable to get the subject under control, he made the decision to deploy his taser and was able to place James in handcuffs and secure the firearm in the vehicle,” according to police.
After searching James’ car police found a bag of crack cocaine and an open container of liquor.
“It was later confirmed that James is a convicted felon, with a prior concealed carry charge with a firearm, and is currently on federal probation. He is charged with PWISD a Schedule II Controlled Substance, PWISD Within 1000ft of a Park, Felony CCW, Possession of Firearm by Felon, Resist Delay Obstruct Public Officers, Driving While Impaired, Failing to Maintain Lane, and Open Container. He received a $175,000 secured bond, according to police.
“This is one example of the dangerous situations Wilmington police officers encounter daily, which is why extensive training and exposure using resources like the Virtra Use-of-Force Simulator is so essential. The officer in this situation was alone, with an agitated crowd forming him, dealing with an armed subject and a third party in a vehicle. Using a reasonable amount of force, he was able to get the situation under control and keep the crowd, the subject, and himself safe” police concluded.
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