SALT LAKE CITY – A man who posted a video of a Utah trooper shocking him with a Taser is asking people to "have some common decency" and stop making online threats against the officer.
"I wish people would realize and think about this: Trooper Gardner is a real person, he's got a real family. Real lives are being affected," Jared Massey said.
Trooper Jon Gardner of the Utah Highway Patrol subdued Massey with a Taser when the motorist walked away and refused to sign a speeding ticket on Sept. 14 on U.S. 40 near Vernal.
Massey obtained a video of the incident and posted it on YouTube. In response, the UHP has received thousands of phone calls and e-mails, many of them critical of the trooper. There also have been online threats against Gardner.
"I think mostly it's people blowing off steam, and that's fine," said Sgt. Jeff Nigbur, a UHP spokesman. "But you can't say you're going to endanger somebody's life."
Nigbur said there is no evidence that the trooper's life is in danger. Massey wants the online threats to stop.
"I wish people would have some common decency every once in awhile," he said Monday. "When I posted the video it wasn't to vilify the guy, demean him or destroy him, and that's one of the things I hate about this."
The UHP still is investigating the incident and won't say whether Gardner's use of the Taser was appropriate.
Tasers use compressed nitrogen to fire two barbed darts that can penetrate clothing to deliver a 50,000-volt shock to immobilize people.