Newnan officers used a Taser on a man after he refused to put down a machete. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Police use Taser on 76-year-old man wielding machete 

A man faces weapons and obstruction charges after he refused to comply with police orders during an incident at a Super Bowl party. 

Police entered a home on Field Street in Coweta County to find Frank Gates Sr., 76, wielding a machete and grabbing a man by the shirt, Channel 2 Action News reported. 

Gates was repeatedly asked to put the machete down, and when he didn’t an officer reached for his Taser to get him to comply, Newnan police Chief Douglas Meadows told the news station. Gates also had two guns in his pocket during the Feb. 6 incident. 

Meadows said since Gates was armed, the officer could have used his gun. But he’s glad he didn’t. 


“We just want to make sure everyone goes home,” Meadows told Channel 2. “At the end of the day, we’re out here to protect everybody.” 

Gates’ family is relieved things didn’t get worse and say they think he didn’t listen to police because he has symptoms of Alzheimer’s. 

“When they were tasering him, he just kept walking like he didn’t feel anything,” grandson Darrius Gray said. “I just thank God they didn’t shoot him.” 

While no one was harmed, officers charged Gates with obstruction of a police officer and two counts of possession of weapons with altered serial numbers.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.