State

86-year-old was hospitalized after Taser incident. Now, police are paying up

Watch encounter of 86-year-old who was stunned by Kingstree Police.

Watch the encounter between Albert Chatfield, 86, who was stunned by Kinsgree Police on Oct. 16, 2017.
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Watch the encounter between Albert Chatfield, 86, who was stunned by Kinsgree Police on Oct. 16, 2017.

An 86-year-old man who was shocked with a police stun gun has reached a settlement with the agency.

Albert Chatfield settled his civil case against the Kingstree Police Department in Williamsburg County for $900,000, according to multiple media reports. The legal assistant of Chatfield’s attorney, Justin Bamberg, confirmed the settlement to The State.

“We are pleased that the city of Kingstree has settled this case so quickly and ensured that Mr. Chatfield will get the care he needs as he hopefully makes a substantial recovery,” said Bamberg, according to Live 5 News.

Kingstree Police Chief James Barr Jr., confirmed the settlement but declined comment, saying the incident is still under investigation by State Law Enforcement Division. But SLED spokesman Thom Berry told The State that the investigation is being closed and no charges will be filed.

After Chatfield was shocked with the stun gun by police, he was rushed to McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence with a broken nose, cuts to his face and head, and bleeding in three spots on his brain, Bamberg previously told The State. Chatfield spent several weeks in intensive care, but is being prepared to be moved to a different facility, WCBD News 2 reported.

Officers stopped Chatfield after a 911 caller reported on Oct. 16 that a driver in a white SUV was tailgating a car and not allowing the driver to turn, Barr previously said to The State newspaper. Two officers in separate patrol cars spotted Chatfield’s white Ford Explorer in the town limits.

Sweikata saw Chatfield’s SUV and started to make a U-turn to follow him, but Chatfield made a U-turn to avoid the officer, the report states.

“Mr. Chatfield took them on a quarter-of-a-mile chase before he stopped,” Barr said. “Once his vehicle came to a stop, he jumped out of his vehicle and headed toward law enforcement in a rage. Officers were giving him commands to stand down and stop.”

Chatfield continued yelling at the officers on the side of the road and “took up a fighting stance” against Sweikata, the report states.

“He was just hollering, really not making sense,” Barr said.

Sweikata deployed his stun gun on Chatfield, with the prongs striking Chatfield in the chest and rib areas, the report states. Barr said the officer shocked Chatfield for one five-second cycle.

Chatfield fell onto his back, was handcuffed and moved away from traffic, according to Barr and the incident report. He appeared to be disoriented but was still responsive and communicating when EMS arrived, Barr said.

Cynthia Roldán: @CynthiaRoldan, Tim Flach: 803-771-8483

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