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Taser Gun Used Citrus Co Fl 2001

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Crystal River, Fl
Citl1ls County Chronicle
Thursday

D23,802
OCT 25. 2001

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CHRISTI STEVENS

to a screeching halt at the nearby intercstevens@nccentral.net
section of U.S. 41 and State Road 44.
Chronicle
Labrador-Cortes looked up to see the car
turn onto State Road 44 and then into
An out-of-control Inverness man the McDonald's parking lot
became the first suspect to be shot by a
Labrador-Cortes
followed
and
taser-wielding sheriff's deputy when he approached Morelle, who was sitting
engaged authorities in a game of cat behind the wheel of the parked car. The
and mouse early Tuesday.
report states the deputy told Morelle to
According to his arrest report, 20- turn the car offand get out ofthe car, but
year-old Nicholas Jay Morelle's girl- Morelle, who deputies say smelled of
friend called deputies about 3:12 a.m. alcohol, refused. Morelle sped off.
Tuesday from Morelle's home to report Deputies lost sight of him as he turned
that her boyfriend was drunk and took onto South Park Avenue in front of the
sheriff's office.
off in her 1988 Nissan Sentra.
The woman, whose name was unavailThinking he might be going home,
able Wednesday, told deputies Morelle deputies drove there and found Morelle
didn't have a driver's license and she sitting in the car and drinking from a botwas worried about him because he was tIe of beer. When deputies approached,
acting in a reckless manner. Deputies he ran toward his home. The report
noted in the report that they saw 200, ,states Morellehit adeputywi!h.tl1e~r
foot-long skid marks in front ofthe house screen door as .he ran inside, I<ic\tirig a
on East Glover Street They issued a bul- sliding glassdoor behind him
letin .telling other law enforcement offiDeputies wrote in·the-report that
cers III the area to be on the lookout for . Murelle became enraged' and threatthe car.
ened to beat up the deputies, Morelle is
A short time later, Deputy Joe also accused of calling 911 and screamLabrador-Cortes was in the Winn-Dixie ing into the telephone before telling
parking lot at Highlands Square in deputies he.was going to his bedroom to
Inverness when he heard a vehicle come get a gun.

BuHnstead ofbullets, Deputy Russell
Howard shot Morelle with one of the

sheriff's office's newest weapons, a

Chronicle file

The sheriff's office recently equipped
deputies with taser guns. An: unruly suspect was taken into custody Tuesday
after ati!ser successfully subdued him.

Deputies rushed the home to apprehend Morelle, but he escaped through
his bedroom window and another foot
chas~bef(an. About 100 yards from the
homelVlrirelle laid down in a wooded
area'Acgeputy found him, but Morelle
refus~·t() put up his hands and taunted
dep\1Ues to shoot him.
Ti)atsexactly what they did.
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taser. The gun-like device shoots two
probes into a suspect's body and creates an arc of electricity between the
two probes, temporarily forcing the suspect to the ground. The tasers have
been on the hips of deputies for a couple of weeks, but Morelle was the first
suspect shot with one.
After he was zapped with the taser,
records show Morelle offered no resistance to deputies, who handcuffed him
and put him in a patrol car.
Because he was shot with the taser,
paramedics were called to the scene,
but Morelle refused treatment He also
.refused to take field sobriety and
breath tests.
He was taken to the Citrus County
Detention Facility and charged with
battery on a law enforcement officer,
resisting an officer with violence,
resisting arrest without violence, possession of alcohol by a person younger
than 21, driving with a suspended
license and driving under the influence.
His bond was set at $12,000.

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