According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, On November 8th, 2022, 6:15 PM, Officer Hill was in the area of providence ministries located at 711 South Hamilton Street in reference to locating Paul Stapleton, 46, of Dalton, who had fled from him and evaded arrest on day prior. Officer Hill had an arrest warrant Paul for the charges of loitering or prowling and obstructing or hindering law enforcement officer. Officer Hill reported, “[I] came to this location because [I] knew that it was an area that Paul sometimes frequented. Upon going inside the rear door of providence, [I] observed Paul standing in line for food. He was still wearing the same clothes from the day prior when he evaded arrest. [I] immediately went outside and requested that another unit be en route to me. [I] planned on waiting for another unit before approaching Paul due to the high probability that he would most likely flee again. While waiting outside on the back side of the building for another unit, Paul came out and made eye contact with me. [I] greeted Paul and asked how he was doing. Paul asked if [I] was going to harass him again.” Paul then took off running eastbound towards the train tracks. Officer Hill gave chase yelling at him to stop. Officer Hill reported, “We crossed over the first set of tracks and then started running northeast. We then crossed onto the second set of tracks while still running northeast. [I] was losing ground on Paul and he was increasing the gap between us. While still yelling at Paul to stop, [I] withdrew my department-issued taser from the holster on my duty belt. While still on the gravel of the second set of tracks, [I] activated my taser by turning on the “Safety switch”. While still on the gravel of the second set of tracks, [I] aimed my taser at Paul’s back. [I] observed that the top “Red dot” was pointing at Paul’s left lower shoulder blade. Due to Paul fleeing arrest multiple times, my knowledge that he has fought officers in the past numerous times, and the increased distance between us, [I] then pulled the trigger of my taser and released it to allow the taser to run through a full cycle. At the time that I pulled the trigger, [I] was approximately 10′-12′ behind Paul. [I] observed the top probe of the cartridge make contact with Paul’s left lower shoulder blade. [I] am unsure if the other probe made contact. Upon making contact, Paul fell to the ground in the gravel.” Paul began resisting arrest and attempted to stand up while reaching for his front waist band. Paul continued to struggle with the officer. Officer Hill report, “Paul then started to reach for my taser with his right arm, which was still laying on the ground to my right. [I] feared that if Paul acquired my taser, he would be able to use it on me and temporarily incapacitate me. The struggle went on for several minutes with Paul attempting to take Officer Hill’s taser away from him. Officer Hill began tasing Paul again in an attempt to gain compliance. Paul rolled over onto his back and pushed Officer Hill off of him. Officer Hill reported, “Paul then stood up while [I] was on my knee and turned around in what appeared to be another attempt to flee. While still on my knee, [I] aimed my taser again at Paul’s back. I observed the top red dot of my taser on the left upper side of Paul’s back. Due to Paul continuing to resist arrest and his fighting attempts to take my taser away from in what [I] believed was an attempt to offer me violence, [I] pulled the trigger on my taser again and released it to allow it to run a full cycle. Paul again fell the ground.” Paul again attempted to resist arrest and stand up. At which point Officer Allen arrived on scene and assisted in knocking Paul to the ground. Paul was eventually placed in handcuffs. Paul was checked out by EMS and staff at Hamilton Medical Center. Paul was booked into the Whitfield County Jail, charged with obstructing or hindering law enforcement officer x2 and criminal trespass x2.
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