Police use Taser at Kent party

Alison Lucci

Video put on YouTube

A man staying at College Towers was tasered by a Kent City Police officer early Saturday morning.

Captain Michelle Lee of the Kent City Police said Lt. Paul Canfield used the Taser on Daran McFarland, 20, because he was faced with physical resistance.

McFarland had a different story.

“There was no physical resistance or any type of resistance,” he said. “I have witnesses that I was not resisting arrest. “

Christopher Roff of Oberlin was at the party that night. He recorded a video of the incident on his cell phone that shows McFarland crouching in a corner as he is tasered. Roff posted the video on YouTube and Facebook.

“Daran started asking why they were there, but the cop didn’t respond. He just pulled out his Taser and shot Daran with it,” he said. “Everyone’s going to believe a uniformed officer over you unless you have hardcore footage to prove otherwise.”

Lee advised viewers to keep in mind that the events leading up to the incident were not recorded.

“What’s been posted on YouTube is a very short part of what happened,” she said.

The police approached the party of 10 to 15 people by knocking on two separate doors leading to the same apartment.

“I guess we had the music up too loud and when music is loud, voices are even louder,” said Jackie Tirbaso, McFarland’s girlfriend.

“When we heard knocking, we told everyone to turn the music off and chill out,” Tirbaso said.

Tirbaso, a sophomore fashion merchandising student, said she opened her door a few minutes later to address the officers, but Lt. Paul Canfield grabbed her arm and tried to pull her out of the apartment.

“The cop pushed the door open, knocked her down and he got on top of her and was trying to arrest her,” Roff said.

Officer Sarah Berkey entered the apartment through a different door and arrested Tirbaso while Canfield tasered her boyfriend.

McFarland is charged with unlawful noise, resisting arrest and obstructing official business. He is scheduled for pre-trial hearing in Kent Municipal Court Oct. 5. Tirbaso is charged with unlawful noise and resisting arrest. Her hearing is Oct. 8 in Kent Municipal Court.

Contact public affairs reporter Alison Lucci at [email protected].