Video: Inmate swipes LEO's TASER from behind bars

The deputy inspector intervened and persuaded the inmate to surrender the TASER


Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Well, this was a shocking turn of events.

A 22-year-old man locked up at a Staten Island police station turned the tables on cops after he reached through the bars, snagged one of the officers’ TASERs and held them at bay even though he was in a small holding cell, a stunning video obtained by the Daily News shows.

Andrew Lawrence of Staten Island is now facing reckless endangerment, weapons possession and menacing charges for frightening the cops during the May 26 standoff, including one who scrambled into an adjoining cell to get out of the TASER’s range.

The bizarre incident, which lasted several minutes, ended when the commanding officer of the precinct, Deputy Inspector Isa Abbassi, apparently intervened and persuaded Lawrence to surrender the TASER. No one was zapped with it.

The incident is under internal review, according to an NYPD spokeswoman.

Police arrested Lawrence after he was allegedly seen breaking into a car. Once he was in a holding cell, he began to act irrationally. “The Emergency Services Unit were notified to assist in transporting the subject to the hospital,” the spokeswoman said.

The video shows two Emergency Service Unit cops talking to Lawrence. As one stood near the bars, Lawrence yanked the TASER from the cop’s belt.

The stunned cops immediately backed away, and one ducked into the adjoining cell as Lawrence waved the TASER. A TASER electrically stuns and can temporarily immobilize a person.

“He took his TASER right off his vest,” said one cop who saw the video. “That’s bad.”

Another cop said he was stunned that this happened to an Emergency Service officer.

“It was bad tactics and just sheer complacency and this guy is supposed to be the elite of the elite,” the officer said. “If ESU can f--- up this bad, what the hell are we doing here?”

For several minutes Lawrence could be seen sticking the TASER out from the bars. But after Abbassi entered the room, Lawrence reached out and put the TASER on the floor.

He was given additional charges for the TASER incident. A judge ordered him to undergo a psychiatric examination, according to court records.

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©2019 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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