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samarkandy

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A news article in The Daily Camera by Christopher Anderson dated May 2, 2001 reads:

Air Taser representative Stephen Tuttle said he was contacted by an investigator early on in the case and provided Smit with the same model to conduct his experiments.

"I am bewildered. I don't know what to think about the theory," Tuttle said. "It defies the logic of what the weapon does." 

Tuttle conceded that two marks are close to the width of the contacts of an Air Taser, but said that's where the similarities end. 

"We have never seen those types of marks when you touch somebody with a stun gun," he said. "We are talking hundreds of people that have been touched with these devices. I can't replicate those marks." 

Tuttle said it is uncommon for the stun gun to leave only two marks on the skin. The body moves away from the stun gun, causing multiple, erratic marks. 

"How you can keep this thing perfectly still, not once, but twice on a squirming child? It doesn't make any sense," he said. "I hope that doesn't throw water on somebody's investigation." 

He also said the Air Taser does not render people unconscious. 



Subsequent to making these claims Steven Tuttle was interviewed by an MSNBC reporter. This is a transcript of the interview during which Tuttle repeats pretty much the same claims:

MSNBC reporter: "... Taser International, the company that manufactured the stun gun Smit believes
was used in this crime. Steven, thanks for being here. In fact, he says it was an AIR TASER 34,000.
You've got one with you, show us how it works.
Steven Tuttle - Taser International: "Well, what you have is the stun gun version of the Air Taser. If
 I push back the safety here, (firing stun gun in air)I can activate the actual stun gun and that's what
we... you have to apply to a person to keep them at bay, so to speak.
Reporter: Can you apply it to your arm?

ST: I can, ah, it's not fun, but (applies to arm held in air, the contact is brief and repeating as the
arm jumps away) AH (he grunted) It's very disconcerting and makes you want to stay away from it.
It's somewhat painful. To me that just felt like pins and needles hitting on my arm right now and I
want to get away from that pain.

Reporter: Did it leave a mark?

ST: Not at all. (Showing arm)

Reporter: Let's take a look at a couple of ... we still-framed just a moment ago duting this package
here... the front end of that Air taser, let's take a look at it right now. You can see, there you see,
how far apart are the two sort of electrodes that come out there? Are they roughly 3.5 cm apart?

ST: That's fairly close, yes.

Reporter: And there's another look at it there. OK, the reason I ask that is that Lou Smit took your
product, the 34000 Air Taser, he tested it on an anaestitized pig, hard to say, and produced the
same marks that were discovered on JonBenét Ramsey - not in one place, but in two separate
places. What do you make of that?

ST: Well, actually, we helped supply that Air Taser for the testing. We were as interested in this
case as Lou Smit is. We've worked with him from the very beginning of the case. The one thing that's
interesting is that the marks that the pigs have do look fairly similar to what's on JonBenét Ramsey.
What's unusual is that, if you saw my arm, it was going off in many, many directions. It's extremely
painful, uh, not even painful, just I wanted to get away from it. I don't know how you could leave
this particular device in one solid spot, not once but twice

Reporter: Yeah, but your arm wasn't restricted against a bed. What if a child abut, oh say, 35-40
pounds, age 6, is in a bed, asleep, somebody comes over without her hearing and uses a stun gun,
that taser you've got right there in your hand, and while holding her down uses it on her back and
her neck and face area?

ST: Well, that's an interesting idea because if I do this to a child of say 6 years of age while they're
in the middle of a very deep sleep, they're going to have fairly the same reaction I did. They're going
to want to get instinctually away from the pain. It would be almost be like being hit with a hot iron
while sleeping. It may take an extra second but you are going to wake up, kick, flail and scream....

Reporter: But didn't you tell our producer that if you do this to a hundred people you will get 100
different reactions? Right?

ST: You'll have about a hundred different reactions but most of them will be different screams,
different yelps, different people kicking. You will certainly not see any incapacitation at all. That's the
key to this issue is that you're NOT going to get incapacitation

Reporter: What are you gonna get?

ST: You're gonna get what I did just now and I'm still feeling it... I don't like the fact that I did that
to myself... I would want to get away from that pain...

Reporter: No temporary paralysis?

ST: None whatsoever. There's a lot of places on the internet, if you look up stun guns. It's
completely false as to what these things do as far as incapacitation rates. These are good devices to
keep somebody at bay at best.

Reporter: Is it possible, even though it may not have produced the desired reaction of incapacitation,
is it possible to produce the very same marks? Let's take a look, by the way, on the autopsy photo...
there you see, 3.5 cm apart, is it possible to produce those marks with what you have in your hand
there, Steven?

ST: I can't do it and I've never been able to replicate it on a person in my 7 years with the company.
Neither has anybody in our company been able to replicate those

Reporter: Are you telling me that your taser has never left a mark on any human being or any animal?

ST: It certainly leaves a mark in some cases like a reddish mark. I'm looking at my arm right now and
I've got little red spots here, all over the place - cause the electricity's dancing all over the place.
I'm not able to keep it in one spot. If I were to keep it in one spot, I might be able to get those two
3.5 cm type width spots but what's key here is even if I'm a 30 pound person, I'm going to get
instinctually away from this pain. If you were to have it, especially in two spots to be perfectly still, I
just don't know how....

Reporter: You're not being restrained and you don't have duct tape across your mouth but, Steven,
I'm afraid we're out of time. I want to thank you so much for coming here today and showing us how
it works, we appreciate it. Steven Tuttle of Taser International.

 


After this interview another reporter had Tuttle view Lou Smit's presentation. This was Tuttle's response during which he acknowledges that the marks on JonBenet possibly COULD have been made by his company's stun gun:

Reporter: ...distinctive marks that appear to be the same spread. I think you have an AIR TASER with you
right now and there are in fact - - can you hold it up? - there are two electrodes in the end, right?

ST: There are two electrodes right here what they are talking about is actually leaving marks here
 and they are about 3 1/2 cm apart and they're fairly similar in width if you were to measure those
 two.

Reporter: Now here's the big question - Can someone hold that to somebody without them flinching or 
moving back?

ST: That's the crux of the bewilderment from our company's perspective. I'm going to go ahead and
do this on my arm. I don't like doing this at all but

Reporter: I'm sure you don't

ST: I want to try to hold it there as long as I can. Now this would be simulating anybody's reaction. UH! That is exceedingly painful to say the least, it's something instinctually I want to get away from

Reporter: OK, but you're a grown man, Let's take ourselves to the crime scene. This is a little girl who was
 asleep, she's 6 years old, what's to say a grown man can't hold her down and just simply hold that to
her?

ST: Well, that could be done, but what we're seeing is a mark that's not moving and as you saw my 
arm flailing about... even if someone is heavier, holding that down, that person is going to wake up
immediately and instinctively want to get away from the pain.

Reporter: What about the the notion of incapacitating someone? Is this, obviously when you're being
shocked there, you're out of it for that moment, but when you took it away, you were fine. Will it
knock somebody out?

ST: That is very, very crucial to the issue here, it will not knock someone out, it will not render them
mute. They will kick and scream. I did my best to not scream into the microphone here because it
was very uncomfortable.

Reporter: Once you took it away, though, you were fine?

ST: ... once you stop it. And it's very loud when it's in the air. It does go much more silent as Lou 
Smit pointed out with the pillow. It does go more silent when you stick it in the skin. However, the
minute that person breaks contact you do get that loud arcing sound. And again, it just simply would
not cause incapacitation

Reporter: Mr. Tuttle, I can certainly understand why a company would not want their name or product
associated with a crime in this case. Do you see any reasonable possibility that it COULD have been a
 TASER and that a child that young COULD have been incapacitated?

ST: It could have been ours and I certainly, we want to work with the investigators, we have from
 the very beginning. Um, I don't know. It's bewildering to see if this was ours. The measurements are
 close. They're not exact, but I don't know. That's what's stupifying - is you've got two separate
marks that are crystally clear, perfect, without any movement shown on the suspect's, oh, I'm sorry,
on JonBenét. I just don't understand that, how that can be there. (Showing his arm) I don't have the
 marks here, they're all over the place. I'm not sure if you can see... from me moving, they've gone
 everywhere. Ah,

 

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