Baptist Hospital paramedics rushed to Spruce St. in East Columbus shortly after 1:00 pm Tuesday after officers radioed in that a man trying to escape police had just been tazered and was complaining of back pain. Officers Chris Barnett and Chris Van Houten reportedly were driving east on Spruce when they noticed Reginald Dent coming from behind a residence from the back yard. As soon as Van Houten pulled over to question Dent, the young man quickly ran east and took an item from his pocket and attempted to eat it. That “item” was later identified as a “small amount of marijuana” by Columbus Police.
VanHouten reportedly ordered Dent to stop several times before shooting him with his tazer gun. Dent immediately fell to the ground and was handcuffed. Dent complained of back pain and an ambulance was dispatched to the scene. DICE officer Steven Kemp arrived on scene and asked Dent why he ran.
“That’s my mom’s house! I just didn’t have the keys, man!.”Dent told the officers.
Dent’s mom arrived on scene as he was explaining to the police exactly why he ran. Mrs. Dent plead with officers to release her son, but it was to no avail.
“I was comin from behind the house and goes to yellin at me to stop? I ran cause I had a little weed on me. I didn’t know you could get shot by that thing just for running? Damn. ” Dent explained.
Two neighbors came forward to tell police that Dent was suspected in several area break-ins in recent weeks, but Dent told officers that he had been doing well in recent years.
“I used to be in the game, I used to deal…but that ain’t me now. That little bit was just for me, man. I can’t believe I got shot (Tazed) just for running” Dent said.
Dent was inspected by BMH-GT paramedics and, after refusing treatment, was informed he was being arrested for possession of marijuana and resisting arrest and transported to jail. Dent complained of how intense the pain was from being Tazed to Officer VanHouten several times, only for the young officer to tell him that he knew exactly what he was going through. Officer VanHouten was among several officers who were Tazered as part of a training class at CPD last month(read more about it on page 45).0