Walter McNeil, 62, says that police officers got it all wrong when they responded to his erratic driving on Deans Bridge Road in Richmond County, Georgia. The veteran was in danger himself, but officers dragged him out of his car and then proceeded to tase and handcuff him.
“I don’t remember much after leaving the gas station until the car came to a stop in Blythe,” McNeil told NewsChannel 6, “I must have drove past where I always get off at and ended up way out there in Blythe.”
McNeil is hoping that his experience will bring attention the struggle of diabetes and inspire changes in the Blythe Police Department.
Police saw McNeil driving dangerously and swerving all over the road. He destroyed a mailbox and crossed the highway’s median and ended up in the northbound lane while traveling south. After officers caught up with McNeil the first time, he drove away, spinning circles with his car. The footage of the incident shows a car clearly out of control.
When McNeil’s car finally came to a stop, officers approached it with guns drawn and then pulled McNeil out of the car.
“The other officer had my head down in the dirt with his knees and then the other officer is behind him and he kept hitting me up in here [his side] with a taser. I was trying to keep still as possible hoping they would stop,” McNeil said.
McNeil says he didn’t know what was going on. He has diabetes, and his blood sugar was low. Emergency medical responders arrived and found that his blood sugar was 30 mg/dL, dangerously below safe levels. McNeil could have passed out or had a seizure.
McNeil’s wife, Tywanna McNeil, admits her husband should have waited for her before driving. But she still believes the officers did not properly assess the situation when responding. “You can see he’s visibly flailing, like a flounder, his arm, his legs. So, what are you tasing him for?” she said.
Blythe City Attorney, Chris Dube, reviewed the incident file and told NewsChannel 6 that the responding officers acted appropriately given the situation. McNeil plans on filing a lawsuit.
“They didn’t assess no situation,” he said. “They just started doing stuff. They knocked out the window, tried to pull me out the car. You fighting with me, but I ain’t fighting with you.”
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Katie Taylor started writing in 5th grade and hasn't stopped since. Her favorite place to pen a phrase is in front of her fireplace with a cup of tea, but she's been known to write in parking lots on the backs of old receipts if necessary. She and her husband live cozily in the Pacific Northwest enjoying rainy days and Netflix.