This article was published on October 17th, 2012
A police force has been forced to apologise after one of its officers mistook a blind man’s white stick for a sword.
The 61-year-old victim was stunned by police following reports that a man was walking through Chorley with a samurai sword.
Chief Super intendant Stuart Williams of Lancashire Police said the force “deeply regrets” the actions taken by their officer and said they had “clearly put this man through a traumatic experience.”
The Chorley man was taken to hospital for treatment and was then later discharged.
“It felt like I was grabbing an electricity pylon,” he said.
He was walking to meet friends in the pub on Friday when the incident occurred.
The case has now been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Mr Williams continued: “A description of the offender was circulated to officers and patrols were sent to look for the man.
“One of the officers who arrived in Chorley believed he had located the offender.
“Despite asking the man to stop, he failed to do so and the officer discharged his Taser.”
“We have launched an urgent investigation to understand what lessons can be learned,” he added.
A man carrying a samurai sword was arrested shortly after on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.
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