July 12, 2007

My goodness!

Looks like it was a busy Saturday in Hanceville!

By Karen Williamson
The Cullman Times

When the Hanceville Police Department received a complaint from a neighbor of 75-year-old James Bennefield’s last Saturday about a hog getting loose, the fracas ended with the hog getting shot and Bennefield being shocked with a Taser.

You know, it's not often you get to write an opening sentence with the words hog, fracas, and Taser in it.

Corp. Don Chamberlain and Officer Chris Westmoreland responded to the call on County Road 545 and spoke to the neighbor.

“The complainant advised the hog tore up the garden and the yard and was always getting out,” said HPD Investigator Lt. Jimmy Rodgers.

The officers had already been out to the house earlier the same day and discovered the hog running free. They asked Bennefield to put the hog back in the fenced area.

During the second visit, Bennefield became combative, Rodgers said.

“He became real aggressive, cussed the officer and told him he wouldn’t put his hogs up, and he wasn’t fixing his fence,” Rodgers said.

Well, I think that's probably happened to all of us at one time or another.

The hog was in the neighbor’s yard when the officers arrived. The hog then entered the road and became a road hazard, said Rodgers.

Chamberlain shot the hog.

According to police reports, an agitated Bennefield responded by charging one officer. He changed course and bore down on the other officer, Rodgers said.

One imagines there was great temptation to substitute the phrase "boar down on the other officer."

“Chamberlain tried to get Mr. Bennefield to calm down and (tried to explain) the reason for shooting the hog,” said Rodgers, reading from Chamberlain’s report.

But Bennefield only became more incensed, cursing and clenching his fists, according to Chamberlain’s account.

Finally, Bennefield took a swing at Westmoreland, according to the report, and Chamberlain responded by using his Taser gun. [...]

Bennefield said he has contacted an attorney and would file a complaint today if he was able to.

“I do not feel good,” he said. “I was advised by my attorney not to talk to anyone” until the complaint was filed.

Given the way in which fracases of this sort tend to unfold, he just better be glad John Law didn't get mixed up and Taser the hog and shoot him.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at July 12, 2007 01:44 PM

Barbecue at the cop shop tonight!

Posted by: Diane at July 12, 2007 02:56 PM

I just hope no filthy hippies come in here and say it would be cannibalism.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 12, 2007 02:59 PM

What does it say about that officer's confidence in his ability to protect himself that he had to tazer a 75 year old?

Posted by: southtrek at July 12, 2007 03:26 PM

I hear a banjo playing in the distance.

Posted by: megabeth at July 12, 2007 03:37 PM

I don't know, Trek--that old feller might have been big and mean and needed a good zap of high-voltage to calm him down.

Or, you know, banjo music.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 12, 2007 03:43 PM

He was tasered in the fracas, shot in the vestibule and punched in the sternum.

Posted by: triticale at July 13, 2007 11:04 AM

Y'know, it's hard to find that kind of thing.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 13, 2007 12:47 PM