Man accused of punching stunned four times to no effect

By Joe Gorman


A man with no criminal record apparently shrugged off five barbs from an electronic stun weapon early Saturday and had to be taken into custody by three police officers.

Reports said one of the officers who tried to arrest Michael West, 18, was punched repeatedly in the head and eye and had to be examined at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital; and an off-duty officer who lives across the street from where the arrest occurred also was punched in the face.

West was arraigned in municipal court Monday on a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest and a fourth-degree felony count of assault on a police officer. Judge Robert Milich set his bond at $55,000, which elicited gasps in the courtroom.

Police were called about 3:50 a.m. Saturday to a home on the West Side on a report of a man, later identified as West, who would not leave a party after being asked to leave and who broke a window to get back inside, said Assistant City Prosecutor Jeffrey Moliterno.

Reports said that when an officer arrived, he found West inside and told him to get on the ground. At first, reports said, West complied, but then he got up and refused other commands to get on the ground so that he could be taken into custody.

West got in a fighting stance and then charged the officer, who shot him with his stun weapon, but even though two of the barbs from the weapon hit West, they had no effect, reports said.

West started punching the officer repeatedly in the face and an off-duty officer who lives across the street came over to help, and he also was punched in the face, reports said.

West ran away, and the off-duty officer and the one who answered the call chased him. The officer with the stun weapon fired two more times and hit West but again, the barbs had no effect, reports said.

Two more officers then showed up and it took three of them to tackle West and, after a struggle, get his hands behind his back and cuffed. Reports said as West was led to a cruiser, he tried to break away several times but was unable to.

The officer who was first on the scene, Jacob Short, was examined for his injuries. West also was examined at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital before being taken to the Mahoning County jail.

Short has missed work time because of his injuries but it was unclear if he was returning to work Monday.

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