Termination recommended for officer who used stun gun on Alzheimer’s patient

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An officer with the Peru Police Department who was investigated for using a stun gun on an Alzheimer’s patient in June could be fired, after the police chief recommended he be terminated Monday.

Peru Police Chief Steve Hoover recommended to the Peru Public Board of Works that Officer Gregory Martin be terminated after an internal investigation into the incident was completed.

In the early morning hours of June 17, police arrived to the Miller’s Merry Manor Nursing Home in reference to 64-year-old James Howard, who has an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s.  According to the police report, nursing home staff called 911 around 4:45 a.m. after Howard became “combative” and “struck several employees.”

Officers reported Howard did not listen to several of their commands, so one of them fired a stun gun at him. The report said officers “Tased” Howard three times despite, according to his wife, being told that he has advanced stage Alzheimer’s and cannot interpret or follow orders.

Fox59 spoke with Howard’s wife of 45 years, Virginia Howard, following the incident.  She said she was getting ready to take her husband out for a Father’s Day, when she got the call saying he was in the hospital.  When she arrived to the hospital, she said she found her husband badly bruised and bleeding in the emergency room. Additionally, she reported some of the skin on Howard’s left hand was torn by the handcuffs officers used.

Officer Martin has been with the police force for seven years.

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