"In the midst of setting up our equipment, [bassist] Travis [Du Bois] was being escorted outside by a campus police officer," says Suffer the Heat singer Brandon Barclay of the band's Halloween gig at MiraCosta College.
"Travis had and still has no idea why he was being arrested, so he asked the officer 'why' about 20 times and never got a response. A second cop comes in and starts yelling at the crowd gathered around the scene to disperse. They end up telling Travis that they want to check him for weapons....
"As soon as they cranked his arm up behind his back, he flinched due to discomfort and was body-slammed to the ground and Taser-gunned several times. As they held him down, they restricted his arms from any movement and kept Tasing him because he wouldn't put his arms behind his back."
School officials declined to comment on the incident but did provide the preliminary police report that states the campus police officer approached Du Bois outside because he "smelled marijuana smoke." The officer stated that Du Bois "drew attention to himself" by walking away. The officer followed Du Bois into the building, where he "detected alcohol" on the bassist's breath and decided to "conduct a weapon and/or alcohol search."
"Standard procedure" dictates putting handcuffs on suspects during such searches; the officer stated Du Bois "refused to cooperate." When a second officer arrived, a struggle began, and the second officer "discharged a Taser into [Du Bois's] back." Du Bois was taken into custody and charged with public drunkenness, resisting arrest, and possessing alcohol on school grounds ("a bottle of Blue Vodka").
"The bottle was a mini two-ouncer, and it was still sealed," says Barclay. "It was for after the show. But because he also admitted having two beers before the show -- during dinner, off campus -- they say he was breaking the law. What about burning nine inches of Taser marks onto an innocent guy's flesh?"
The MCC campus has a "zero tolerance" alcohol policy. Since February, the campus newspaper has included at least three articles regarding the possession of Tasers by campus police.