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Hernando deputies Taser man four times, use pepper spray to deflect attack

BROOKSVILLE — After allegedly threatening to cut his girlfriend's throat, Justin Robert Miller, turned his anger on a deputy responding to the scene Saturday afternoon.

Miller raised his fists and came at Deputy Larry Junker, who fired a Taser at the 29-year-old, striking him in the shoulder and left thigh, according to a Hernando County sheriff's report.

The 50,000 volts knocked the 6-foot-3, 200-plus-pound man to his knees, the report states. When Miller tried to get up, the deputy hit the Taser a second time, then a third time, and once more.

When Miller tried to lunge at another deputy, Cari Grasso, Junker sprayed him with pepper spray, the report states, finally subduing him.

"It usually only takes one try, when working with a Taser," said Sgt. Donna Black of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. "It is very uncommon for a suspect to be Tasered more than once."

The report gives this account: Deputies called to the house at 12313 Redrose Ave. about 1:30 p.m. Saturday heard Miller threatening to kill everyone in the home.

Miller and his girlfriend had been having an argument that became physical. Miller, who appeared to be intoxicated, picked up a kitchen knife and said he was "going to cut the woman's throat."

The woman told deputies she was afraid for her life and that of their 1-year-old daughter. Miller broke the woman's cell phone after her second attempt to call the authorities.

The woman's father intervened in the argument, but Miller hit him and pushed him down a flight of stairs. The 60-year-old man was injured on the head but declined to be taken to a hospital.

The report notes that after the first two zaps with the Taser, one of the two probes fell out of Miller. He still would have felt a shock, but not the full force.

"Some people can fight through the Taser hits," Black said. "But it's not very common for that to happen."

Miller was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, domestic battery, resisting an officer with violence and battery. He was taken to the Hernando County Jail, where he was being held Monday in lieu of $36,000 bail.

Ryan Strong can rstrong@sptimes.com or at (352) 544-1630.

Hernando deputies Taser man four times, use pepper spray to deflect attack 06/08/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 8, 2009 7:39pm]
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