April 6, 2012

April 10,2012 – This story has been updated to include the name of the student who was arrested.

While many students don’t like to pay extra fees, one’s reluctance to pay for a replacement Polar Express card ended with a UAF police officer using a Taser to subdue him.

At approximately 4 p.m. on Friday, April 6, Officer Alan Keeler responded to a report of an unruly student who threatened Polar Express Office staff.

Kevin H. Legrismith, 20, of Fairbanks had been issued a temporary Polar Express card, which had expired. He became angry with staff when he was told there was a fee for a new card, UAF Police Chief Sean McGee said.

Keeler told Legrismith to sit on the couch while Keeler interviewed staff. As the officer spoke to a female employee, Legrismith jumped off the couch and came toward him.

The student was upset at what the employee was telling the officer, McGee said. But at that point the officer didn’t know if Legrismith was coming at him or the woman. Keeler told the him to sit down and a physical altercation followed. During the struggle, the officer’s Taser hit the ground and broke into pieces. Legrismith wrestled with the officer over the Taser, McGee said. The officer then used the Taser in an “unconventional way.”

“He had to use it like a stun gun to get the student on his stomach,” McGee said. Normally an officer operates a Taser at a distance from the subject. Prongs are ejected from the device. The prongs emit electrical current that disrupt voluntary muscle control.

During the altercation, a male student stepped forward and offered to assist the officer.

“We appreciated that,” McGee said.

However, at that point the officer’s radio informed him that additional police were coming to assist. Keeler held Legrismith down until backup arrived.

Police took Legrismith to the Fairbanks Correctional Center and charged him with misdemeanor assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

“I can’t remember the last time an officer had to use a Taser on a student,” McGee said.

Heather Bryant/Sun Star Reporter