Gardai shot man in stomach with baton round after he ‘fired homemade flamethrower in stand-off’
31st March 2021
Mr Harris told the Authority the incident happened on February 21 when members of the specially-trained Armed Response Unit were called to the scene of a so-called barricade incident
GARDAI shot a man in the stomach with a baton round – after he had allegedly fired a homemade flamethrower during a stand-off, it has emerged.
An officer from the Armed Support Unit fired the less lethal ammunition from a shotgun when the man is alleged to have violently resisted arrest in the incident last month, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has revealed.
He gave details of the February incident in his monthly report to the Policing Authority, the independent body set up to oversee the Garda force.
Although the Commissioner said the incident happened in the east of the country, he did not give any specific locations as the man is currently before a district court in relation to the case.
But he did confirm that an ASU officer fired a single baton round at the man during the incident.
Mr Harris told the Authority the incident happened on February 21 when members of the specially-trained Armed Response Unit were called to the scene of a so-called barricade incident.
He said: “Gardaí in the Eastern Region were informed that a male, under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol, had barricaded himself in his home and was threatening to self-harm.
The Commissioner said local gardai as well as ASU officers immediately set up a cordon and called in the Fire Brigade – as well as calling in a special negotiator to try to coax the man out.
But the on-scene commander saw the man was becoming erratic and then ordered the Garda SWAT team to deploy its emergency action plan – and enter the house to end the stand-off.
Commissioner Harris said: “The members forcibly entered the dwelling and located the subject, who violently resisted arrest, resulting in the discharge of a less-lethal baton round by ASU, which struck him in the lower abdomen.
“Once the subject was secured, Fire Brigade personnel entered the dwelling and brought the fire under control.”
The Commissioner said the man was later arrested under the Mental Health Act and brought to a local Garda station by paramedics after an initial assessment at the scene.
He said: “The man was later transferred to hospital to undergo a psychological assessment.
“Following his release from hospital, he was arrested and charged with the offence of arson under the Criminal Damage Act and was brought before the courts, where he was remanded on his own bond to appear at the local District Court on 8 April 2021.”
ASU members have access to a suite of weapons for dealing with emergency situations.