Excessive Force Complaint Unfounded, Local Police Say

A driver who witnessed the chase snapped this photo of the fleeing vehicle. (Courtesy photo)

TEMPLE (January 28, 2014) An excessive force complaint filed by a Killeen man whom Temple officers used a stun gun to subdue and then swarmed after a high-speed chase is unfounded, according to the results of an internal investigation released late Tuesday afternoon.

The complaint was filed by Thomas Kiefer, 35, who was later convicted of evading arrest with a vehicle, driving with an invalid license and resisting arrest in connection with the incident on March 4, 2013.

“The findings of our internal review were that Temple Police Department officers acted reasonably and in accordance with TPD standard operating procedures and in accordance with applicable State and Federal law,” Police Chief Gary Smith said in a statement Tuesday.

“Specifically, the internal review found that the force applied during the arrest of Mr. Kiefer was limited, reasonable and warranted by the situation,” he said.

The chase started after an officer attempted to stop Kiefer for reckless driving at around 7:35 on March 4 on Interstate 35 in Temple.

Police say Kiefer refused to pull over and instead drove through a grassy highway median, ran three stop signs, drove through parking lots and across lawns, cut across a median on Loop 363 and drove at speeds of 60 miles per hour in a school zone before he stopped.

When officers tried to remove him from the car, he resisted.

A stun gun was used to subdue him, and then officers used what police described as a “swarm technique” to control Kiefer’s arms and legs, authorities said.

Paramedics checked out Kiefer at the scene, Smith said.

He did not require hospital treatment.

“The officers involved in the arrest likely prevented serious injury to Mr. Kiefer or themselves by using the degree of force that they used,” Smith said.

“Mr. Kiefer’s arrest was warranted by the situation, and the arresting officers used reasonable force to prevent further danger to the public, Mr. Kiefer or themselves,” Smith said.