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COLLEGE PARK: Family upset after police taser mentally challenged man

7:04 PM, Jun 17, 2011   |    comments
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COLLEGE PARK - Adrienne Heard was on her porch Monday night when she heard the commotion across the street.

She says she saw her neighbor, Isaac Yearby, standing outside of his apartment. Yearby is 31 years old and mentally challenged. Heard says two College Park Police officers drove up to him and told him to show his hands.

"He wasn't talking, he was more like shaking because he was more afraid of them than anything," Heard said.

11Alive News obtained the police report. It says officers were on patrol when they saw Yearby acting suspiciously. The report says when he wouldn't remove his hands from his pockets after several requests to do so, an officer responded by tasing him.

"It's like his whole body just got stiff and he just hit the ground," Heard said. "He hit the ground hard. I mean really, really hard, because I heard him from across the street."

That fall landed him in the hospital with head injuries. He's in stable condition now, but his family thinks he never posed a threat.

"He has the mind of a 2-year-old," his brother Charles Bolton explained. "So he doesn't know better sometimes. But he knows right from wrong, he knows who is who. He knows not to disrespect."

But the officer tells a different story. College Park Police Captain Ferman Williford said the officer acted in self-defense. The police report says Yearby has a history of aggression toward police and that he threatened them before he was tased, even raising his fists.

The report says Yearby was told three times to remove his hands but refused, instead cursing at officers.

Heard says she tried to warn the officers of her neighbor's mental condition, but the report indicates they weren't aware until after Yearby was tased.

College Park Police Department is reviewing the video taken from the taser and Internal Affairs is now investigating.

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