from the watch-your-back dept
In the latest example of questionable taser use, a man walking his two dogs off-leash at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area was tased in the back by a park ranger
, who was apparently trying to make an example of him. The problem was that the guy, Gary Hesterberg, was walking the dogs at Rancho Corral de Tierra, which used
to be an off-leash walking area until it was just recently incorporated into the National Park. When the park ranger confronted Hesterberg and asked for his identification, for reasons unknown, Hesterberg gave her a fake name, and then tried repeatedly to leave. Finally, when he started to walk away, the ranger shot him in the back... because she was trying to "educate residents of the rule." Then
, he was arrested "on suspicion of failing to obey a lawful order, having dogs off-leash and knowingly providing false information."
It seems that the use of a taser in this situation was excessive and unwarranted. The guy wasn't threatening the ranger in any way, and even if he had lied about his name (not that lying should be a reason to tase someone), the ranger wouldn't have known that at the time, since Hesterberg only gave his real name to the authorities after
he got tased. Did the ranger accomplish her goal of "educating" visitors of the park rules? Yes, if educating means "scaring into submission." As Eric Cartman would say, "Respect my authoritah!"