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Police taser newlyweds during wedding reception
Police taser newlyweds during wedding reception

July 24, 2008

The Michigan wedding of Durango newlyweds Andy and Ania Somora came to an abrupt end last weekend after the bride and groom were tasered by local police and spent their wedding night in jail.

According to a news release from the Chikaming Township (Mich.) Police Department, Officer Jeff Enders responded Saturday to the Burnison Art Gallery in Lakeside, Mich., after gallery owner Judi Burnison asked for assistance with unruly guests at the Somoras’ wedding reception.

Burnison, who rented the gallery to the Somoras for the reception, told Enders the party had gotten out of hand, and there were broken glasses and spilled drinks.

Burnison declined to comment Wednesday, but she said her lawyer would respond to questions.

However, no call was received as of Wednesday evening.

Enders told the assembled guests to leave, but many became upset, police said. Enders called for backup, and 14 law-enforcement agencies responded to help clear the crowd. Police said that many of the 100 guests left peacefully, but several continued to be disorderly and to swear at the officers.

However, eyewitness Kacpar Skowron, a professional Chicago photographer and friend of Ania Somora, said police overreacted and ruined a perfectly good wedding.

“My perspective is that the main officer (Enders) handling it was cool at first, but then he started threatening that everybody would be arrested. But trying to kick the party out at 11:20 (p.m.) on a wedding night when we had a contract to be there? He was a big jerk,” Skowron said.

Skowron said the crowd got particularly unruly after police handcuffed Andy Somora’s father and put him in the back of a police cruiser. He said the elder Somora, whom he described as “a distinguished older gentleman,” was trying to talk to Enders to defuse the situation.

“I didn’t believe it, but I witnessed it. It was brutal, and that’s when Andy got really mad,” he said.

Skowron said Andy Somora had to be restrained by police and was tasered at least twice. His wife also received a shock because she was touching her husband during one of the incidents. Skowron said husband and wife were both arrested, but Chikaming police would not confirm that claim, and no mention of the use of a taser is included in the news release.

Chikaming police arrested four men and one woman, but the department would not release the names of those arrested until they were arraigned.

The charges against those arrested include assault and battery, disorderly conduct, resisting and obstruction of police officers, and damage to property.

An arraignment was scheduled for Wednesday, and media calls were referred to Enders as the investigating officer. However, Enders was off duty Wednesday and did not return a phone call for this story.

 

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