Manatee deputy shoots suspect with Taser

MANATEE - A 26-year-old man was shot with a Taser by a Manatee County Sheriff's Office deputy after he fled while being arrested early this morning, according to the sheriff's office.

Thomas A. Townson Jr. was being arrested a drug possession charge about 6:10 a.m. when he grabbed a pill bottle he had been carrying and fled. The deputy first warned Townson to stop before he fired the Taser, according to a news release.

The deputy had originally seen Townson sitting outside the front door of a closed business in the 5200 block of Manatee Avenue West. Townson consented to a pat-down search and advised the deputy he was carrying a controlled substance in his pocket. He asked the deputy to thrown them away, according to the sheriff's office.

As the deputy was conducing a warrants check, Townson grabbed the pill bottle and ran.

The deputy warned Townson to stop, and then shot him with the Taser.

Townson faces charges of possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest without violence.