Man Tasered After Holding Cruiser Door Shut, Threatening to ‘Blow’ Philadelphia Officer’s Head Off

Commissioner commends officers for showing "tremenous" restraint

A man was shocked with a Taser after threatening to shoot a Philadelphia officer in the head in South Philadelphia Wednesday night, police said.

Shareef Haynes, 20, walked up to 3rd District officer Michael Edwards as he sat parked along the 600 block of Ritner Street just after 6 p.m. and knocked on the window, Philadelphia police said.

When the Edwards rolled down the window to ask how he could help, Haynes threatened to shoot him.

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"He just stared at me; a blank stare with no response. I asked him again how I could help him and his response was 'I should blow you're f---ing head off," Edwards said recounting the encounter.

Edwards tried to get out of the cruiser, but Haynes held the door shut, pushing with both hands which were buried inside his pants.

"I didn't know if he had a weapon, a knife or a gun, so I tried again to get out of the vehicle, force it open with a little more force," Edwards said.

The officer was able to push Haynes away, but as he jumped out of the car, the suspect pulled his hand from his waistband.

Haynes made a shooting gesture with his fingers at the officer and threatened to shoot Edwards again, police said. The officer then radioed for help as he drew his weapon.

Edwards warned Haynes to show his hands and stand still, but he refused, the officer said. In that time backup began to arrive. Officer Eric Tyler said Haynes then charged at him so he pulled out his Taser and fired.

"He could've had a gun. And I wouldn't have known anything. I would've been a victim and he would've been a murderer," Tyler said.

Haynes was taken to Methodist Hospital for treatment.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the officers would likely had been justified in using his service weapon based on Haynes' threats and failure to follow orders. He commended his officers for avoiding lethal force.

"The officers exercised tremendous restraint. They were brave. They made us proud because everybody survived including the suspect," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

The threat to Edwards comes less than two months after Officer Jesse Hartnett was nearly killed when he was ambushed inside his police cruiser in West Philadelphia.

Hartnett was driving through the intersection at 60th and Spruce streets when Edward Archer ran at the car firing a handgun. Archer reached into the cruiser as he fired, hitting Hartnett at point-blank range.

Harnett was badly wounded, but was able to chase Archer and fire back before collapsing. Archer survived and confessed to the crime.

"You just get this eerie reminder when you get a case like this," Ross said.

Haynes' been charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment, making terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person. His bail was set at $25,000.

It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

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