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Medford police use Taser to subdue man with knives

Faced with an angry man waving two large fish-filleting knives Wednesday morning, Medford police zapped him with a Taser stun gun ' thus avoiding serious injury to officers, the man and his wife, with whom he had been fighting.

Lt. Mike Moran said police got a report of an argument at an apartment in the 1400 block of Poplar Drive at 8:25 a.m. Wednesday. From outside, they could hear heated arguing, so they brought the stun gun to the door, he said.

The department added Tasers to its standard toolbox in 2000 so officers would have another option before turning to deadly force, Moran said. All officers are trained in using the devices, but not every officer carries one all the time, he said.

When the door opened, a man with two knives was just inside, less than 10 feet from the officer, Moran said. For safety, officers are trained to stay at least 21 feet from anyone armed with a knife, he said.

The man became increasingly agitated, menaced officers and refused to put down the knives, Moran said. According to police, the man had been fighting with his wife, telling her there would be a bloodbath if she called police and disabling the phone after she called 911.

An officer then shot the man with the Taser from across the room. The stun gun can be placed against a person to deliver a strong shock or can blast a pair of inch-long prongs connected to the Taser by fine wires to conduct the shock to someone at a distance, Moran said.

The powerful shock typically causes the person to lose muscle control and fall down, he said. It temporarily disorients the person, but doesn't cause lasting damage.

The man, Garland Joseph Arnaud, 52, was arrested on three counts of menacing, and charges of unlawful use of a weapon, recklessly endangering another person and interfering with making a report.

Emergency room doctors removed the Taser's prongs and Arnaud was lodged in the Jackson County Jail, where he remained Wednesday night on &

36;25,000 bail.