Atwater police: Officer uses Taser on man who brandished pole

An Atwater police officer used a Taser on a man who police say threatened the officer with a wooden pole on Saturday, authorities reported.

Police said Cpl. John Smothers was patrolling a shopping center parking lot just after midnight in the 1200 block of Commerce Avenue, where businesses have complained about transients in the area.

The officer pulled his car up next to a man sitting on a bench in the shopping center. Police said the man, later identified as Howard Heisley, 55, was near a shopping cart filled with recyclables and other items.

According to police, the man told the officer to leave and cussed at him. The officer got out of his car, police said, and the man continued to tell the officer to leave and then stood up while holding a 41/2-foot wooden pole over his head.

The officer drew his gun, police said, and ordered the man to sit down. The man eventually sat down after repeated orders from the officer. Police said the officer then called for additional officers. The man stood up again up and tried to leave, police said, so the officer used his Taser to subdue the man.

Heisley was taken into custody and is under investigated for a previous assault with a deadly weapon, according to police. He remains in the John Latoracca Correctional Center in lieu of $30,000 bail.