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Knife-wielding old-timer in hospital shocker

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have once again demonstrated their enthusiasm for the Taser by zapping an 82-year-old hospital patient, CBC News reports.

Frank Lasser, of Kamloops, British Columbia, was in his local Royal Inland Hospital on 3 May suffering from pneumonia following heart bypass surgery which obliges him to remain permanently connected to an oxygen supply.

The RCMP said that "nurses called police after Lasser became delirious and pulled a knife out of his pocket". When the Mounties arrived, the perp apparently refused to relinquish his weapon, at which point he was hit three times with a Taser.

Lasser recounted: "I was laying on the bed by then and the corporal came in, or the sergeant, I forget which it was, and said to the guys, 'OK, get him because we got more important work to do on the street tonight.' And then, bang, bang, bang, three times with the laser [sic], and I tell you, I never want that again."

In his defence, former prison guard Lasser said he "sometimes becomes delusional when he can't breathe properly" and admitted he "couldn't explain why he refused to let go of the knife even after the Mounties arrived".

Lasser insisted the three RCMP officers involved "could have easily handled him without the use of a Taser", concluding: "They could have gone in there and taken an old man without any trouble at all."

RCMP Cpl. Scott Wilson told CBC News: "Whether the person is 80 or 20, we are dealing with a person who had a deadly weapon in their hand."

He added: "We could not deploy our... pepper spray, because we could potentially contaminate the entire hospital."

In October last year, the RCMP caused a bit of a stir by tasering a 40-year-old man at Vancouver International Airport - an incident captured on video by an amateur cameraman. Pole Robert Dziekanski, who received mutiple Taser hits, died at the scene. ®

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