PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A Taser that uses an electrical charge to shock a person into submission is a dangerous weapon under state law, according to the South Dakota Supreme Court.
In a decision publicly released Thursday, the justices upheld the convictions of Beau Dean Foote Sr. of Fort Pierre for aggravated assault against two law enforcement officers.
Foote was found guilty of using a Stanley County sheriff deputy’s Taser against the deputy, Greg Swanson, and a parole agent, Mike Stolley, at a residence where they went to arrest him. Foote was on parole at the time.
Swanson’s Taser fell out of the holster during the arrest. Foote used the weapon against Swanson. Foote also turned the Taser against Stolley, but the parole agent’s bulletproof vest prevented the shock.
Foote’s attorney Brad Schreiber argued that a Taser isn’t a dangerous weapon and there wasn’t proof Foote meant to injure either officer.
Retired Justice Lori Wilbur disagreed.
“From the language of the statute any stun gun is, by definition, a dangerous weapon, and a Taser is a type of stun gun,” Wilbur wrote.