GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A university student with a history of taping his own practical jokes was Tasered by campus police and arrested after loudly and repeatedly trying to ask U.S. Sen. John Kerry questions during a campus forum.Andrew Meyer, 21, spent a night in jail before his release Tuesday morning. His attorney, Robert Griscti, did not return messages seeking comment.
Videos of the Monday night incident, posted on several Web sites and played repeatedly on television news, show officers pulling Meyer away from the microphone after he asks Kerry about impeaching President Bush and whether he and Bush were both members of the secret society Skull and Bones at Yale University.
“He apparently asked several questions – he went on for quite awhile – then he was asked to stop,” university spokesman Steve Orlando said. “He had used his allotted time. His microphone was cut off, then he became upset.”
As two officers take Meyer by the arms, Kerry, D-Mass., can be heard saying, “That’s all right, let me answer his question.”
Audience members applaud, and Meyer struggles for several seconds as up to four officers try to remove him from the room. Meyer screams for help and tries to break away from officers, then is forced to the ground and officers order him to stop resisting.
As Kerry tells the audience he will answer the student’s “very important question,” Meyer yells at the officers to release him, crying out, “Don’t Tase me, bro,” just before he is shocked by the Taser. He is then led from the room, screaming, “What did I do?”
Meyer was arrested on charges of resisting an officer and disturbing the peace, according to Alachua County jail records, but the State Attorney’s Office had yet to make the formal charging decision. Police recommended charges of resisting arrest with violence, a felony, and disturbing the peace and interfering with school administrative functions, a misdemeanor.
Orlando said university police would conduct an internal investigation.
“The police department does have a standard procedure for when they use force, including when they use a Taser,” Orlando said. “That is what the internal investigation would address _ whether the proper procedures were followed, whether the officers acted appropriately.”
Meyer was released from jail Tuesday on his own recognizance.