It’s a story most residents of the area never heard. Police officer Mike Walsh was 58 years-old with 31 years on the job when his supervisor shot him in the face with a Taser.
The decorated Larchmont cop and former union president was stationed at the front desk inside the Larchmont Police Department headquarters at Village Hall on May 6, 2016 when he says then Sgt. Ronald Knudsen shot him with a live taser while apparently “horsing around.”
The incident was caught on security camera video and witnessed by several of Walsh’s fellow officers. The taser darts hit Walsh in the left arm and face. One dart was imbedded in his jaw and had to be removed at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital.
Walsh was stunned by the electric shock and fell to the ground, seriously injuring his right knee. After two years of medical leave and light duty, he eventually retired from the department in October, 2018 on a line-of-duty disability.
“This incident changed my life and forced me to retire earlier than I’d intended,” he told The Loop. “I can’t explain why it happened but it’s obvious they weren’t following protocols.” Walsh’s attorney, Warren Roth, says the incident occurred during a break in a taser training session and that Knudsen may have mistaken the live taser for an inert training replica.
A lawsuit filed by Walsh against Knudsen (who has since been promoted to Lieutenant) and another LPDS sergeant (now retired) was recently dismissed on technical grounds by the New York Court of Appeals. Roth says a federal lawsuit is being contemplated.
Vincent Toomey, a Long Island attorney hired by the Village of Larchmont to handle labor matters, told us that the Walsh case has run up nearly $60K in legal fees for the village as well as two years of full salary for the injured officer.
Walsh, a New Rochelle resident, continues to collect a disability pension from the state of New York.