Taser useless on alleged shoplifter trying to escape Saskatoon police at hospital

Police say a Taser proved ineffective against an alleged shoplifter during his arrest and again when he was in custody at a Saskatoon hospital. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

A Taser proved useless against an alleged shoplifter resisting arrest as well as during his attempted escape from Saskatoon police custody at a hospital.

An officer was initially called to Confederation Mall on Tuesday afternoon after a 43-year-old man was reportedly found stealing.

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The man was also known to have four outstanding warrants.

As he tried to run away, police said he was caught, resisted arrest and made threats to stab the officer with a needle.

During the confrontation, a conducted energy weapon (CEW) was used but proved ineffective.

The man was then arrested and taken to the hospital as a precaution. There, police said he attempted to flee from their custody at around 8:30 p.m.

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A physical altercation followed, and a CEW was deployed twice but it did not subdue the man.

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He was eventually taken into custody with the help of hospital security staff.

The man remains in hospital and is facing charges of theft under $5,000 and assaulting a police officer. Additional charges are pending against him.

Police are reviewing the CEW use in accordance with their policy.

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