Jerseyville police use Taser to subdue man after seizure; man considers lawsuit

JERSEYVILLE, IL – The Jerseyville Police Department is reviewing its Taser policy after officers said they used the device on a man they were trying to help.

That man, identified as Jerry Wyhs, had just suffered an epileptic seizure and paramedics needed to take the man to the hospital, but he was not cooperating. The incident happened Friday night between a pancake house and convenience store.

“One (officer) said. ‘I’m going to pull out a Taser’ and I seen him do that then he tased me and I said I felt that,” Wyhs said.

Wyhs’ father, Jim, said his son takes several pills and has a device implanted under his skin to control seizures. When Jerry suffered a seizure, paramedics and police arrived to help. Jim said a seizure can make Jerry hard to control and crews were trying to get him to the hospital.

“All seizure patients are combative, reluctant to do what they’re asked,” Jim said.

Jerry said he told police to stay away from him.

According to Jim, the last officer to arrive on the scene overreacted.

“He really wasn’t familiar with what was going on and that’s my biggest complaint,” he said.

Jersey County State’s Attorney Ben Goetten said all the witnesses, including Jerry’s friend, who was with him at the time, said police acted appropriately, and that Jerry was physically combative.

“It could have killed me,” Jerry said.

The chief released the police report, which shows no complaint from witnesses concerning how police performed. However, one witness complained that Jerry later harassed her by repeatedly asking what she saw Friday night. She said he told her, “I’ll make you rich.”

Jerry and Jim Wyhs want the officer charged with at least assault and they’re considering suing the city.