Woman tasered by police arraigned on May disorderly conduct charge

Recorder Staff
Monday, October 30, 2017

GREENFIELD — A woman who was tasered by Greenfield police officers who say she held a steak knife toward them in her Chapman Street apartment has been arraigned in Greenfield District Court.

Janette Gimenez, 49, who most recently moved to be with family in Springfield, according to court documents, was arraigned on three charges: violation of a harassment prevention order, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

While the incident took place in May, the court proceeding was delayed until last week in part because Gimenez is deaf and the state had to get an American Sign Language translator to be present for the hearing. But, she also has a limited understanding of signing and was in the process of recovering from the mental trauma, so her state case manager asked for it be further delayed, according to court files.

The issue unfolded May 16 around 4 p.m. when police responded to a disturbance from a Chapman Street apartment and a possible violation of a harassment prevention order, where the caller reported “stomping, screaming and banging.”

Initially, when the police checked on Gimenez, who was screaming from her apartment, the police report said, she calmed down. Police waited around on Chapman Street afterward, making sure she had settled down.

Gimenez was then seen throwing a glass coffee pot out the second floor window, on a clear day when children were playing outside and adults were sitting on a nearby porch, the police report read.

They then saw Gimenez “hanging out the open second floor window with a steak knife in her hand pointing at her wrist in an ice pick position,” Greenfield Police Officer Jason Kratz said in his police report.

Kratz and Lt. Joseph Burge then went into the apartment because of the apparent suicidal threats.

After difficulty getting into the apartment, they made it into Gimenez’s residence, with her still holding the knife.

“I observed Janette peering out from a closet with a knife,” Burge said in his report. “I drew my sidearm and I tried to speak with her but she was frantically screaming and holding the knife on her stomach; at one point she appeared to try to cut her arm then put the knife back to her chest/stomach area.”

He then put away his sidearm and tried to calm her down. He said she then appeared to pass out and then fell on the ground.

“I immediately ran into the closet where she was laying in an attempt to secure the knife. As soon as I got up to her, while I was reaching for her hand that had the knife, she awoke and raised the knife up,” Burge said in his report. “I immediately jumped back and yelled for officer Purinton to taser her.”

Burge and Kratz arrested her and sent her to the hospital for an evaluation.

Gimenez was switched from the emergency department to the Franklin County Psychiatric Unit, case manager for the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Karran Larson said, according to court documents. It took extensive collaboration and advocacy, Larson said, on the part of herself, the police, the hospital and Clinical and Support Options to get Gimenez, a client of ServiceNet, into that unit.

After leaving the psychiatric unit, Gimenez moved in with family in Springfield.

Reach Joshua Solomon at:

413-772-0261, ext. 264