Hearing Impaired Man Tased by Police

KWCH CBS | December 3, 2007

Donnell Williams had just gotten out of the bath tub, wearing only a towel around his waist, when he turned the corner to see guns pointing right at him.

"I ain't never been so scared," says Williams.

Police forced entry into Williams home while responding to a shooting, but it turned out to be a false call.  They had no idea at the time the call wasn't real and that Williams is hearing impaired.  Without his hearing aid he is basically deaf.

"I kept going to my ear yelling that I was scared.  I can't hear!  I can't hear!"

Officers were worried about their own safety because at the time it appeared Williams was refusing to obey their commands to show his hands.  That's when they shot him with a Taser.

Deputy Chief Robert Lee of the Wichita Police Department says, "This one occurred on the worst of calls, that being a shooting. The first few minutes getting control of the scene are very, very important."

Once the facts were all sorted out, officers repeatedly apologized to Williams.  Police wish it never happened, but with the information they had at the time, their choices were limited. 

"Do I wish there would have been some way they were notified in advance this gentleman was hearing impaired?  I certainly do.  No one is happy with the way it worked out," says Lee.

Williams was not hurt in the incident.  Police say the shooting call came from a cell phone but they still don't know who made it or why.

The case is being reviewed by the department.