Albert Chatfield, the 86-year-old man who was injured after he was tased by an officer from the Kingstree Police Department on October 16, has settled his case less than one month after the incident with the city of Kingstree for $900,000.
According to a press release issued Friday, November 17, by Chatfield's attorney Justin Bamberg this marks one of the quickest and most considerable pre-suit settlements in a police-related taser case ever in South Carolina. "We are pleased that the city of Kingstree has settled this case so quickly and ensured that Mr. Chatfield will get the care he needs as he hopefully makes a substantial recovery," said Bamberg.
According to a Kingstree Police Department Incident report, officers responded to a call regarding a man blocking the driver of a vehicle from turning. When police arrived Chatfield fled in his vehicle, making U-turns, 360 degree turns and running a red light as police pursued him.
Officers followed Chatfield till he stopped at the intersection of Main Street and Brooks Street and exited his vehicle. As officers exited their patrol car, they ordered the man to get on the ground but the orders were ignored. At that time Chatfield started jogging and walking backwards into lanes of traffic and that's when Chatfield was tased. He fell, hitting his head in the process. Chatfield was in ICU for several weeks and is preparing to be moved to a different facility. Officers stated they tased Chatfield because they were afraid a vehicle would strike him.
Kingstree Town Manager Richard Treme declined to comment on the case. "SLED has not concluded their investigation and until that happens - parts of it are still outstanding," said Treme. The article will not appear in the November 22, issue of The News because the press release was received after the Mass Mailing deadline.