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Tasering victim going to court today - Tues Feb 17th

Tom O'Connor was tasered in front of Imbibe at 23rd and Hawthorne
October 15th, 2008. (WW wrote this up at:  http://wweek.com/wwire/?p=13130)
As he recalls it, he was sitting outside at the tables enjoying a beer, with his dog tied up, infront of the bar where the bartender had grown accustomed to putting water out for another dog he'd had, who'd had kidney problems, and who had died the day before. The bar owner also liked tom's dog, as did the veterinarian who frequently came out to pat the dog, or the one before this one. He was not intoxicated(according to the Fire Department, which removed the taser leads), nor was he doing anything wrong.

He went inside to use the restroom now and again, bringing his beer inside with him so that people wouldn't take it who were walking by. Toward the end of the evening, the tables were all being brought inside and his was the only one left. He came outside with his beer in his hand and saw a police car heading east on hawthorne suddenly spun her head and stared, then do a u-turn and he was approached by officer Zentner, who accused him of tying up his dog for 3 hours and therefore abusing the dog. The cop started coming over to the dog like she was going to touch or take the dog. He got into a defensive position between the officer and the dog and the officer tasered him.

Tom's previous work as a welder and being electrically shocked in the past had prepared him for being shocked and the taser didn't particularly bother him. The leads were still on him when the officer's backup arrived, and a crowd formed and had to be convinced by the additional cops not to get confrontational with the officer. Firefighters arrived and confirmed to the officers that Tom was not intoxicated. But he was charged anyway and his court date was set for Feb 17th at the Multnomah County Courthouse.

Tom feels that community policing is an excuse to harass people without probable cause, and if this cop thinks this meets the standard, all the rest of the cops on Hawthorne for the last year or so must be wrong.

More information please 17.Feb.2009 16:01


I hope you will provide us with additional information regarding Tom as it becomes available. What happened to the dog? Did someone take him in and care for him or was he taken to the county shelter? Please let us know the outcome.