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A South Carolina police officer is under investigation for zapping a 75-year-old granny with a Taser. The stun gun can fire its wire-trailing darts into anyone within 20 feet and delivers an electric shock of up to 50,000 volts to the miscreant.

The police officer, a mere stripling of 35, was called to a nursing home where the woman was visiting a friend. She refused to leave because staff would not tell her where her friend was. So the police officer, Hattie Macon, took her down with a quick jolt of juice.

The zapped OAP, Margaret Kembrell, told AP she thought her end had come: "I thought I was dying, I could hear myself screaming...I didn't want to hurt her and I can't believe she would hurt me." Kembrell was handcuffed, arrested and charged with trespass and resisting arrest.

But the local police chief defended his officer's actions saying she had acted properly. Officer Macon says she only resorted to the Taser when the fiesty old-timer tried to thump her - a charge Kembrell denies.

Showing remarkable restraint, Margaret's son Jack Kembrell said: "I really don't understand why a police officer, a trained police officer, would have to use such force on a 75-year-old woman. If it was a 75-year-old man, I could maybe see it. But a 75-year-old woman? What could she do?"

In related news, a Chicago wedding came to a shocking end last month when police tasered both the pregnant bride and her father. Taser International expects sales to leap 175 per cent for 2004 compared with the year before. ®

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