Man Stops Robbery with His Taser, Is Charged with Felony Possession of a Weapon

I hope he learned his lesson. About helping people. And protecting himself.


Wikimedia Commons

A woman attempted to rob a bar in La Crosse, Wisconsin, but was thwarted by a customer with a taser. The police are making sure justice is served and have arrested the woman.

They arrested the man with the taser, too. That's because it's against the law in Wisconsin to carry a taser without a permit.

The incident took place in the early morning hours at King's Korner bar. A former employee pointed a gun at the bartender and demanded the money in the cash register. But customer Jeff Steele brandished his taser at the burglar, and she ran off. She was apprehended shortly thereafter.

Steele didn't actually use the taser, according to the batender. Still, he will face a felony weapons charge, according to WKBT:

Steele is being charged with possession of an electronic weapon, which is a felony, because he doesn't have a concealed carry permit for his Taser.

"You can have it in your home and on your private property without a concealed carry permit, but you do need to keep a concealed carry permit to carry it out in public," said Officer Lisa Barrix, with the La Crosse Police Department.

"When I bought it off the Internet it said basically that it's legal to have in the state of Wisconsin, but didn't go into any depth on it, so I assumed that it was legal to carry around, otherwise why would you buy one to leave it at home? How is it for defense then?" Steele said.

Barrix says because Steele tried help he wasn't immediately taken to jail.

What a great message—exercise your Constitutional rights and defend someone from a potentially violent crime and you won't be taken to jail immediately.

For his part, Steele claims he ordered the taser online and didn't know he was only allowed to keep it in his home. He lives in a rough neighborhood, and if he can't leave his house with the taser in tow, it defeats the entire purpose.

I hope he learned his lesson. About helping people. And protecting himself.

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  1. Sounds legit. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Carrying around potentially LETHAL weapons with no permit or registration – I HOPE THEY THROW THE BOOK AT HIM!!!


    1. Wait, they’re lethal now? I thought they were perfectly safe, according to our friendly police officers.

      1. Lethal when proles carry them, perfectly safe when YOUR BETTERS IN THE GUMMINT carry them.

        Jeez, get with the program, Scruff!


          1. They said nothing about muskets. They explicitly said to carry “arms”. However, I think we can interpret the Constitution to imply this included legs and other body parts.

            1. I think the subject Amendment guarantees the right to “bear arms”
              This of course means that carrying around bear arms is something that cannot be infringed upon.
              He was carrying a Taser, not bear arms.

    2. its less lethal than a 10 inch kitchen knife – and its a one time use – once you fire it you can’t reuse it immediately. With the knife he could stab multiple people with no reloading involved.

      1. Has anyone ever taken a taser on a mass murder spree?

      2. sounds like one of those assault knives i have been reading about

  2. Steele is being charged with possession of an electronic weapon, which is a felony

    “An electronic weapon”? You mean, like a *flashlight*?

    1. like an EMP generator

    2. Proton pack and particle thrower.

      Wisconsin bars are riven with class III ectoplasmic entities.

      1. Never understood the particle “thrower”. Let me pick up this particle and throw it at you. OOOohhhhh aren’t you scared?

        1. Those particles hurt, particularly when complemented by a Lamar-like limp-wristed throwing motion.

          Now I’m just crossing the streams of 80s movies…


        2. “Never understood the particle “thrower”. Let me pick up this particle and throw it at you. OOOohhhhh aren’t you scared?”

          Well it all depends on weight of the particle and the speed it’s thrown. /physics for the win

          1. Would it really sound better if you called it a “particle shooter”? Yeah, “particle cannon” sounds better, but still

            1. “particle shooter dispenser”

              1. You mean a Pez dispenser.

          2. Well it all depends on weight of the particle and the speed it’s thrown. /physics for the win

            Primitive man tried to create heavier and heavier elementary particles for their particle guns to defend himself, but the particle accelerators became too big and the particles too unstable.

            Eventually, primitive man figured out that you could just take a lot of protons, neutrons, and electrons, put them together, and create a really big compound particle. We call these “bullets” now.

    3. Like a Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range.

      1. Damn it, Harold! First Jordan brings up fans; now *this*!


      2. Eagles fans are known to wantonly employ these electronic weapons.

    4. Depending on where you’re at, I bet it would be entirely possible to be arrested for carrying one of those big Mag lights on the grounds that you could use it as a club. I mean, unless you could prove that you actually needed it, then why else would you carry it?

      A while back when I was in Boulder, people started walking around with canes because they thought is was cool. The cops responded by confiscating these “weapons” and arresting anyone who argued. Needless to say, the fad was short lived. That and many fathers of police officers got expensive canes for Christmas that year.

      1. Hey! Where I live in the SF suburbs in Kalifornia, joggers and walkers often carry golf clubs for self protection………..from loose dogs.

        I’m not aware that any arrests have been made for “carrying weapons in public”.

        1. and golf clubs ARE lethal weapons – if you a Kennedy relative (See SKAKEL)

    5. Phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range.

    6. Nine times out of ten it’s an electric razor. But ? every once in a while [looks around, leans in conspiratorially] ? it’s a dildo. [leans back] Of course, it’s company policy never to imply ownership in the event of a dildo. We have to use the indefinite article, “a dildo”, never ? your dildo.

      1. Do you remember that strange looking dildo-like weapon that Anthony Perkins used in Crimes of Passion?

    7. felony assault with a fleshlight?

  3. Goddamn, how fucking STOOOOPID are Wisconsin’s laws? I bet it is a fucking MISDEMEANOR to carry a gun without a permit, but a felony to carry a knife or a tazer. (I don’t know, but there are certainly laws that stupid in other places). Not that a natural right should demand legal training, extensive paperwork and government permission, but we are all just fucking government stooges now, aren’t we?

    1. I don’t know if the law was changed, but when I lived there, it was perfectly legal to carry a concealed knife. I’m guessing they are treating the tazer as a gun.

      1. Actually, carrying a knife also falls under the concealed carry prohibition (and always has).

        It’s just never enforced (excepting some known shitbag, when the chance arises to pile on another charge).

    2. I just love how the cops have (and use) the discretion of warnings for revenue generators like tickets, but for shit that really messes with lives–but doesn’t generate revenue–they have no leeway..

      1. Sure they do. If a fellow cop does something illegal they always manage to have plenty of discretion and leeway. Leeway is for the important people.

        1. Not just fellow cops, but friends, family, business associates and such also get plenty of discretion and leeway.

          I did something stupid a while ago and when the cop radioed in my information, the officer in charge recognized my stepfather’s address with whom I was living at the time (he sells cars to the department) and instructed the officer at the scene to go easy on me. I could have gone to jail, but instead went home without any charges.

    3. Here in the wonderful police state of Massachusetts it is even illegal to carry pepper spray without a permit.

      1. Yep! I lived there in the early 2000’s and that just blew my mind. In Missouri, you can buy it pff the store shelves at any Target, Wal-Mart, ect.. Massachusetts was a strange experience for me, and the BBQ sucked. Well, Redbones off Davis Square was okay. Every other place I tried, garbage. Then again the same can be said about seafood in the heartland.

      2. It’s illegal to have *empty brass* without a permit. Which is a good reason to never go to MA. I can’t guarantee I don’t have perfectly normal objects on me or in my car.

      3. Actually, its hard to believe, but the legislature changed the law this summer and you no longer need a permit for pepper spray! Pretty incredible. What cracks me up is that living in western mass its fairly easy to get a ccw and then I can carry all over, even in the liberal bastion of Boston!

  4. The cops are probably just upset that a “civilian” showed the world you don’t need to dump 15 rounds of hollowpoints into a suspect every chance you get.

    1. partly but in reality the government does not like it when people prove they don’t need the governments help. hence the outlawing of churches passing out food to the homeless and the Obama care which forces your insurer to cancel you so that you have to go onto Obama care. the government does not like those who can take care of themselves

      1. Well, except the church problem comes from local bidnesses and citizens not wanting lines of homeless folks hanging around the neighborhood, and has nothing to do with that particular local gubmint wanting to provide services.

    1. Since people are obviously too stupid to have those things, government should STEP IN!!! and DO SOMETHING!!! like banning them or at least having strict licensing requirements.

    2. The Koreans were too busy worrying about fans to notice the real killer: vacuums!

      1. That’s a great health scare.

    3. Better stop carrying around the Cornballer.

      1. Thought those were only sold in Mexico?

    4. Clearly this is the first step in a widespread hacking offensive by the NorKs.

    5. Roomba: Who made who, bitch?

  5. what if it wasn’t charged? no batteries?

    1. What if it were a Pop-Tart? Stop asking your betters ridiculous hypothetical questions.

    2. Well of course it wasn’t charged. It’s an inanimate object. This wasn’t an asset forfeiture case.

  6. Jury nullification.

    1. It will never get that far. He’ll be faced with a choice between decades in prison if it goes to a jury, or accepting a plea bargain.

      1. ahh yes, he will be picking up trash on the side of the highway for many, many hours for his foolishness.

        1. And he’ll never be allowed to own a leaf blower.

          1. Yeah, he will, but he’ll have to use it in the garage.

            1. And only with the correct Permits, of course.

              And it you can’t get a permit to run a gasoline powered engine in the house (attached garage) so only an electric leaf blower will be allowed.

  7. So, the same assholes telling you you don’t need a gun because there are legitimate non-lethal alternatives will lock you up for having access to those non-lethal alternatives. Can they just drop the pretense and admit they don’t want people to be able to defend themselves?

    1. Psychopaths are never in favor of armed victims.

    2. Progressives do not believe in the right to self defense. I remember a series of comments on Fark about a news story involving a single mother who shot and killed an armed intruder.

      They said it was so awful she shot the poor man and it would have been better to be beaten and raped by him than live with the memory of her evil act of self defense.

      This is how they actually think.

  8. Is enforcement of law just COMPLETELY DEVOID of common sense anymore? If ever you wanted a reason why cops should NEVER get the benefit of the doubt, this is an example. The guy PREVENTED a crime, and rather than the cops overlooking the stupid law that he violated, they fucking arrest him for being an armed citizen and exercising his natural rights. Fuck the cops. Could they not have just been human beings and said, “Good job, dude”?

    1. No, they can’t. One of the most insidious aspects of laws is that they free people from having to think or make nuanced judgement calls. “That’s the law, sorry.” And the people who go into government and law enforcement tend to come from a few choice groups of people: people who like to have power over others and people who are insanely lazy (often both at the same time). Mindlessly enforcing laws both gives them arbitrary power over people and they don’t have to think or be nuanced while doing it.

      The law is an ass, and the law allows people to be an ass too. And of course the people who really want to be asses will gravitate to the government because of it.

      1. Yes, yes, and yes again.

      2. I totally forgot that control-freak progs love more than ANYTHING coercing your acceptance while screaming “IT’S THE LAW!!!” directly in your face. Of course, laws that they don’t like (entering the country illegally, for instance) are inherently racist. So, not valid.

        That is why I am so conflicted about the movie “Dredd”. DAmn was that a good movie…. but just so fucking statist…

        1. It helps if you’ve read the comic. The author clearly considers Dread a fascist, the government Dread serves corrupt, and the society he patrols degenerate. It’s a satire of the British government, whether Liberal of Tory.

          V of Vendetta was the same way; the movie sucks most of the subtle out, but the original is clearly as afraid of Leftwing Fascism as Rightwing.

    2. Fuck all cops. Agreed. If they aren’t themselves violating people’s rights, they are tolerating their buddies who do.

      However, I’d have to say the fault, in this case, lies firmly on the Wisconsin legislature and every court up to and including the SCOTUS for enacting/allowing such an egregious violation of 2A.

    3. to be fair it sounds like that is what the cops that actually responded to the incident did since they let him go. The order to arrest him probly came from higher up once the reports got filed.

    4. The police hate competition.

  9. …the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    [emphasis mine]

    Fuck off slavers!

    1. I have it on good authority that that actually means something completely different from, or perhaps even the exact opposite of, what the words on paper say.

      1. It’s okay, you just haven’t been to law school.

      2. It’s all nullified by the part in invisible ink that says “except if the government claims it has a compelling interest in doing so”.

      3. Well, DUH!!! “Militia”!! “REGULATED”!!! WHAT IS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND??!? It is CLEARLY the government granting ITSELF the right to have an army, not some sort of right for unwashed Tom, Dick or Harry to just go gallivanting around with a GUN!!!

      4. I learn something everyday

        ‘”the general welfare clause” says all enumerated rights are limited in scope by their ability to coexist with a reasonable degree of public safety’

        1. The person must be referring to the wrong constitution.


          “As such, these clauses in the U.S. Constitution are an atypical use of a general welfare clause, and are not considered grants of a general legislative power to the federal government.”

      5. It’s obviously just a simple transposition. It was supposed to read:

        …the right of the people to keep and arm Bears, shall not be infringed.

        I mean, the original word order just doesn’t make sense!

    2. You don’t understand. That was to arm the Militia. Now that we have the National Guard, the part about keeping and bearing arms no longer applies to the people.

    3. it was originally meant to give bears weapons, but the federalists freaked out and changed the words around. no one noticed.

  10. Barrix says because Steele tried help he wasn’t immediately taken to jail.

    A good deed was punished a little more leniently. What else do you loonytarians want?

  11. “Steele didn’t actually use the taser,…”

    Boy, if he was hoping to be a cop someday, he can kiss his chances good bye now.

    1. I didn’t read the article closely, but I don’t think the robber was a handcuffed, depressed teenager, which is the favored taser target for our brave protecting servants.

  12. …otherwise why would you buy one to leave it at home? How is it for defense then?

    Yeah, Jeff, go ahead, try to apply logic to the law.

  13. No Walker pardon yet?

    1. I believe the good gov of WI is hard at work trying to figure out how to maximize the number of American troops we’ll have in Iraq as of 2017.

      You know, the important stuff he was elected to do.

  14. There’s no situation so fucked that can’t be made worse by the presence of the police.

    1. Saturday I tried to explain to a couple of buddies why they shouldn’t call the police unless they wanted to see the victim or another innocent person arrested, or have somebody get assaulted, battered, and/or killed.

      I gave examples. They remained skeptical. Unfortunately, unless they experience such an event I don’t think they’ll believe me.

      1. You only call the cops under 2 very specific circumstances:

        1) There is a dead body in your house or on your property.
        2) You need a police report for a robbery/car accident in order to file an insurance claim.

        1. 1) There is a dead body in your house or on your property.

          There are quite a few exceptions to this rule. Or so I’m told.

          1. Always applicable if your last name is Kennedy.

            1. His house wasn’t in the river, and I don’t think he owned it…

        2. NO, no, no. If you have a dead body on your property call your lawyer and then do what he tells you.

        3. About eight tears ago I got sideswiped and was able to get the tag number, vehicle make and model, and description of the driver. I called a lawyer I had used to get out of a traffic ticket and he said in no uncertain terms that I should NOT contact the police.

    2. Call 911 and have a armed psychopath at your door in 4hrs or less.

  15. “Barrix says because Steele tried help he wasn’t immediately taken to jail.”

    Awwww. How sweet!

  16. “Let that be a lesson to you, Lisa: Never help *anyone.*”

    1. “Hey, he don’t even have his license, Lisa.”

      80s movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTNGYhyhTU4

  17. Nice Alt-Text, Mr. Soave.

  18. I hope he learned his lesson.

    You are only allowed to defend yourself and exercise constitutional rights if you have acquired the necessary government permits. And, sometimes, not even then.

  19. Thats amazing even California with its strict gun laws allows you to carry a tzer

  20. The governor should pardon him and congratulate him for stopping a crime.

    That would jab a finger in the gun Nazi’s eyes. That is what I would do if I was governor and running for President.

    1. Agreed. But it doesn’t fix the problem.

      1. fixes his problem Francis – that is the first step.
        Second is have a “Rose Garden” like ceremony awarding him a medal for bravery like our Asshole in Chief did for that deserter Bergdahl. Perhaps that would show the absurdity of the the concealed carry laws.

        1. Medal? Rose Garden?

  21. America is quickly outlawing even self defense. Here in SC we have a man on trial for shooting masked men who crashed through his bedroom window in a no-knock raid at 6 in the morning. No drugs were found other than a very small recreational amount of marijuana, he’s being charged with attempted murder, assaulting police, etc…

    And they’re already trying to seize his home and possessions, because they don’t need a conviction to steal his stuff.

    1. that’s sick – need to do something about the increasing use of no-knock searches and the government theft of property.

      1. Keep shooting them as they come in, sooner or later they will run out of psychopathic traitors to keep up the war on citizens.

        1. They’ll run out of the ones stupid enough to go first.

    2. All those involved should get a really personal karma visit, preferably one that leaves a permanent limp.

  22. my neighbor’s half-sister makes $65 /hour on the internet . She has been unemployed for 10 months but last month her payment was $17961 just working on the internet for a few hours. read more…………….
    ????? http://www.Workvalt.Com

    1. 276 hours a month? 69 hour work weeks don’t sound fun.

  23. my buddy’s mom makes $86 an hour on the computer . She has been out of a job for 5 months but last month her check was $15207 just working on the computer for a few hours. site here…………….
    ????? http://www.netcash50.com

  24. so, i’m puzzled by something: how do they know it was concealed?

    open carry of a loaded handgun is legal in wisconsin.

    why would a taser be any different?

    1. Doesn’t matter.

      In WI, possession of an electric weapon is illegal if you are outside of your home/business and do not have a Concealed Carry license.

      And to whomever wondered above about whether carrying a concealed firearm is a misdemeanor: it is. Class A, meaning the highest classification, but still a misdemeanor.

  25. Sounds like a great case for jury nullification.

    1. Jury Nullification, absolutely, if it gets to that stage. Of course, at times, even these days, common sense prevails.

  26. I’m going to do something I typically hate and defend the individual cops involved in this arrest and the courtesy they extended by not taking him to jail that night.

    The reality is, because he stopped a crime with the ‘weapon,’ and that other person had a gun/is easily identified, there was no way they could hide the fact that the guy in question had the taser. It would have to be a detail included in any reports, testimony in court. The prosecutor and their superiors would be aware of it.

    There was basically no discretion the individual cops could show. The best best here is the prosecutor wants to avoid the negative PR and declines the case.

    This is a case of broken system rather than dickish individual cops, in my view.

    1. Dickish stupid cops and even bigger dick dumass bosses.

      Dumb and ignorant all the way to the top.

  27. AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHH !!!! STORIES LIKE THIS REALLY PISS ME THE F@CK OFF!! Why do asshole cops want to punish someone for doing something good ? He’s obviously a decent person, he did a good thing, he didn’t know it was illegal . You know what the smart thing to do would be ? This would also improve relations between the public and the police btw,WHY NOT REWARD HIM FOR HIS BEHAVIOR BY GIVING HIM A CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT SO IF HE ENCOUNTERS A COP IN THE FUTURE, HE DOESN’T GET ARRESTED ?? Oh no… we can’t have that ??!! Something for nothing ?? Why would you want to reward someone for doing a good deed ? These cops are assholes !

    1. Their bosses are too.

    2. To be fair, the LEO’s only enforce progtard law. They don’t actually write them.

  28. the US constitution, now only viable in your home

    1. Until the no knock warrant comes. Or some officer wets himself over the dog in your yard. Or…

  29. Proves beyond even an idiots doubt what feral tools cops are.
    He should have called the cops on his cell phone so they could walk in the door to her loaded gun going off in their face. Its what the feral pigs deserve.

  30. One might go so far as to say, give the guy a medal.Instead, he gets a large ration of rubbish. With respect to this sort of consummate stupidity,I wonder as to the level of cooperation that might remain between the citizenry and the police, if there be any that is.

    Regardless of what the law might say, a healthy leavening of common sense, seemingly lacking here, is always appropriate.

  31. Rule #1 if you carry any kind of defensive weapon:
    Know your state laws.
    (In some places, like NYC, know the city’s laws too.)

  32. A taser is a weapon? I’d bet you can carry a concealed knife. But not a taser? Which one is used more often to kill? Which would be more effective?

  33. I am from Texas and we do things differently from how they do Up North. Where is that, somewhere north of Oklahoma?

  34. According to the California courts Tasers are firearms and subject to the same restrictions as other modern firearms in the state of California.

    The National Rifle Association is funding the Peruta v. San Diego lawsuit to which its official state organization, the CRPA, is a plaintiff. The NRA has been arguing for years to uphold the ban on carrying firearms(including Tasers) in public except for those people who have a concealed carry permit.

    That kind of makes the NRA the largest anti-gun group in the nation.

    You would know this had you ever bothered to read the NRA briefs filed in that case but since the briefs are more than 140 characters long, that will never happen.

    1. That kind of makes the NRA the largest anti-gun group in the nation.

      It’s a political entity given to compromise and making crazy pronouncements like insisting on a police officer in every school. The 2AF is a far better organization for liberal-minded individualists.

      You would know this had you ever bothered to read the NRA briefs filed in that case but since the briefs are more than 140 characters long, that will never happen.

      Presumably you noticed that the events of this story did not take place in CA.

  35. “I hope he learned his lesson. About helping people. And protecting himself.”

    …and living in a liberal $#!+hole like Wisconsin. Walker’s doing some amazing things there, but it is what it is.

  36. Wisconsin’s laws on concealed carry aren’t that bad really, the thing is that they lump all weapons together and call it a concealed WEAPON permit not just a concealed HANDGUN permit.

    To get a concealed handgun permit in Wisconsin is not hard either I got mine in one morning class, all paperwork is filled out there and the fees for both the class and processing cost less than my US passport. The license itself came within two weeks in the mail.

    There is a further restriction however he may have been violating even with a license anyway, if you carry concealed in an establishment that serves alcohol AND drink alcohol on the premises you basically void your permit. The story didn’t say whether he had been drinking but did say he was a customer and c’mon its Wisconsin it’s too cold to be sober.

    Furthermore always check local laws, never rely on third party websites. Such sites exist to sell you things and write off legal liability with fine print saying “check your local laws”. Personal example, when I moved from Wisconsin to Texas a third party site said my Concealed Carry Permit was valid in Texas as well, but Texas DPS said there was no reciprocity agreement. Guess which one actually matters.

  37. Lesson to be learned: Never, and I mean never, use your lawfully acquired/concealed weapon unless YOU or your personal family members are being threatened. From what I hear, if you are in a bank and draw your lawfully concealed weapon to thwart an armed robber you have a good chance of loosing your licence. (Or maybe that’s only in the great commonwealth of mass)

  38. Self defense is a basic human right that I will exercise, if need be, regardless of any law.

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