PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - Daniel Jensen did what he believed anyone else would do after seeing his neighbor's house on fire. He turned on his garden hose and started spraying.
The home next door was ten feet from his outer wall, and the wind was causing the flames to scorch his house.
"They were billowing up in the roof and starting to catch the fence on fire," Jensen said. That's why he is angry and confused about the actions of Pinellas Park police the night of November 8.
Jensen said when police arrived at his neighbor's house, they ordered him to stop spraying. Jensen claimed that police told him not to bother fighting the fire, and to "let the house go."
"I couldn't believe what I heard," Jensen said. "That it was an insurance problem. Let the insurance company handle it."
Jensen also believed that his daughter was still inside his house, and that he wanted to prevent it from catching fire as well. Firefighters had yet to arrive.
But police ordered him to stop, and eventually drew a stun gun. Neighbors said they were stunned to see the officer shoot Jensen down. He has two scabs on his back where the wires struck him.
"After they tased me, about three of them picked me up and brought me out here and planted me on my face and handcuffed me," Jensen said.
From there, he was placed in a squad car, where he said he started having breathing problems.
"I just had surgery a couple of weeks prior. I was begging them for oxygen," Jensen said.
PInellas Park police initially said Jensen was refusing to cooperate with officers at the scene, but Jensen said they changed their story. He said police told him they were trying to save him from himself.
Jensen's attorney, Heidi Imhof, said the inconsistent statements from police and the descriptions from witnesses at the fire scene clearly show the department acted improperly.
Police stand by their statement that Jensen was putting himself in danger by doing what firefighters are trained to do.
Jensen said he is not sure if a lawsuit is necessary, but is considering all of his options.
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