In Mobile, Alabama, a man was pepper sprayed and tasered by police after they were unsuccessful in trying to make him voluntarily come out of the restroom of a Dollar General store last Friday, according to authorities. The kicker is the fact that the man had his own problems as he was deaf and mentally disabled.
Antonio Love, 37, the man in the bathroom, had to be moved out of the restroom by authorities with force as he was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a police officer. After police came to the realization that Love was actually disabled, but still proceeded to take him into custody and jail, the incident has been placed under investigation according to Police Department spokesman Christopher Levy. He added that the police that placed him in custody had found a card in his wallet that indicated that he was indeed deaf. According to the department’s policy, however, the usage of both weapons is justifiable.
Police were brought to the scene of the store when a call was issued to them stating that a man had been in the bathroom for close to an hour, according to Cpl. Charles Bagsby. When authorities arrived on the scene, they proceeded to knock on the door, but they were given no answer.
According to Love, who could only tell his story in sign language, he was only in the bathroom for that amount of time due to the fact that he was actually sick and when he saw someone continuously pounding on the door he feared the worse and held the knob to ensure that the person could not get inside.
Love’s movements, however, would prove to be his downfall as the police, like usual, made a presumption as to what type of situation it was. Figuring that the suspect inside was hostile, police shot pepper spray underneath the door. They then went to find an iron to use to pull the door open, according to an account by Bagsby.
As Love was washing his eyes of the spray, he stated that he was knocked down once they forced the door open and was tasered in the stomach, chest and his hand. He was then put into custody and taken to Mobile County Metro Jail. Fortunately, the jail magistrate was unwilling to accept any of the charges against the man refusing the sign the arrest warrant.
Director of the Mobile division of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, Michelle Jones, stated that in situations like these, it is required by federal disabilities law for law enforcement to obtain a translator when these types of scenarios are presented, which did not happen.
Love’s loved ones stated that he has the mental capabilities of a 10-year-old. His mother, Phyllis Love, has highly considered obtaining a lawyer stating that Love has not been the same and fears anyone in a police uniform. Welcome to the club.
Well ladies and gentlemen, the boys in blue have done it again and shown their ability to serve and protect. Clearly there are no bounds to what the long arm of the law can do.