Police watchdog investigates Taser death in Wales

6th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

Britain's police watchdog said Thursday it was investigating the death of a man who was Tasered as officers arrested him for attacking a woman at a hotel in south Wales.

The woman also died of unspecified injuries during the incident overnight at the Sirhowy Arms Hotel in Blackwood and a murder investigation is underway, police said.

Officers were called to the hotel, which also operates as a hostel for homeless people, at around 1:30am (0130 GMT) after receiving a report that a man was attacking a woman.

"A Taser was discharged and a man was arrested," said a statement from Gwent Police, adding: "Whilst under arrest, the man became unresponsive.

"Officers and paramedics administered first aid but he has since been pronounced deceased.

"The 34-year-old man had been handcuffed, a source said.

The case has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which handles complaints against the police.

"We're independently investigating an incident in Blackwood, Gwent in which a man and a woman died," the watchdog said in a statement.

British police started using Tasers in 2004 and their use by specially trained officers is increasing, according to the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo).

An Acpo spokeswoman said it was too early to comment given that the details of the incident in Wales were unclear.

But she confirmed that up until now, there have been no deaths attributable to Taser use recorded in the UK.

"There have been deaths where Taser has been used, but inquests have revealed these people have died from other injuries or reasons," Acpo said on its website.

© 2014 AFP

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