Pierce County deputies use 'less lethal force' to stop suspect with machete
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department has released body cam footage of deputies using bean bags to stop a suspect wielding a machete.
On March 25 around 8 a.m., a deputy responded to a commercial burglary alarm at an orthodontist’s office in South Hill. When he arrived, he saw a man leaving the business.
The deputy ordered the man to stop and show his hands, but the suspect kept walking. As the deputy followed, he could see the suspect had a machete tucked up his sleeve.
According to the sheriff's department, once the suspect removed the machete from his sleeve and armed himself, deputies requested less-lethal backup and a K9 unit.
Backup arrived, and a deputy fired a bean bag round at the suspect, which were ineffective.
"You see a regular-looking shotgun that the second deputy has when he pulls up, but he’s loading beanbag munitions into it. When that shoots, it’s a beanbag projectile that travels at a slower speed than regular bullets do, and it’s in a sack, so it’s not going to penetrate into the skin. Our goal is to cause pain that will force the subject to surrender. The other option is we shoot a guy with a machete, and now we have an officer-involved shooting, now we have somebody we have to go and administer first aid to, and he could possibly die. Using a beanbag shotgun gives us a way to try to apprehend this guy without using lethal force," said Pierce County Sheriff's Sgt. Darren Moss.
The suspect ran off and more bean bag rounds were fired. Deputies said the suspect eventually sat down and gave up.
The 27-year-old man was taken into custody after that.
He was later identified as Patrick Tau Ah Fook.
When police asked if Ah Fook was hurt from the bean bag round, he said, "did it feel good for you?" according to court documents.
He told officers that he had gone into the location to get dental work done and the alarm tripped. Employees of the business said no one was supposed to be at the office at the time, and pry marks were found on the front door and accounting door office, according to court documents.
Ah Fook arrested and booked into jail for first-degree burglary, resisting arrest and obstructing.