Taser - The Chronicles of John

A detailed blog of the trials and tribulations of a Taser International Law Enforcement Distributor. An ongoing David v. Goliath story !

Monday, August 01, 2005

Where have I been ?

Life has thrown me a few curves since the last time I posted. Seems that the settlement that John signed also included a request by the opposition’s lawyers to have me pull this blog. John and I had a verbal altercation over the first amendment to the Constitution as well as loyalty of friends and that it means.
I just could not bring myself to do what John asked so I have terminated my contacts with him. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy like a brother, but I can’t back down on my stance.
John understood and shook my hand as I turned and walked out.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Just my thoughts

John finally received an answer from Taser’s attorney, Mitchell. He said that Taser’s in-house counsel, Douglas Klint had been unavailable last week because he was away. Mitchell said in his phone message that he would get in touch with Doug Klint tomorrow on Monday. Mitchell also requested John’s confirmation that it would be all right to ask the Judge hearing the case, for some additional time to reach a settlement. John forwarded a copy of his faxed response to Mitchell the lawyer, which he sent this morning. I don’t really know why he shares all of this with me but he does know I care and desire all the best for him.

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I don’t know about you all, but with Taser dismissing their lawsuits against Dan Alvirez, his company ALS Technologies, Inc., also against Dennis Kaufman, his company Electronic Defense Technology, Inc. (both of which were accused of the same Patent Infringement charge as John and his company), that Taser should at the very least drop their suit against John. After all, he didn’t do what they accused him of doing. They just want to prevent him from concluding his development of his two ideas into competing products. Here is the page from Taser’s March 31st, 2004 10QSB/A federal filing.

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When taser posted this, all of John's dreams crashed down around him. He is the true injured party in all of this.

We wait with baited breath for the next chapter in this story!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Pulling his hair out

John has been pulling his hair out the last couple of days. Seems all of the Patent and Trademark Law Firms located in Manhattan will only work by billable hours. The cheapest firm that specialized in cases of John’s type repeated the $400,000 minimum figure. John called Kenyon & Kenyon, one of the biggest in the country for litigation of Patent and Trademark cases. Jeffery Ginsberg was kind enough to spend an hour or so reading everything that had occurred so far and gave his professional opinion; free of course. Jeff said that he knows of no one who would take on John and his company as a client because of how destitute he is. Jeffery said that his firm charges up to $600 an hour and did not work on contingency. He said that a counter-suit was very viable but because of the way Intellectual Property law firms worked, John would have to fully fund both the conclusion of this lawsuit and fund the entire law suit against Taser. Whatever awards that would be made at the conclusion of the counter-suit would be solely his, but this fact is worthless since he doesn’t have the money to even properly defend himself. The worn bare, thin thread that John is hanging from is slowly wearing away. The 16th of the month, the next court appearance before Judge Rosenblatt is fast approaching. John needs an attorney, any attorney to stand with him in front of the Judge. It is not far that a billion dollar public company can hire a multi-million dollar law firm using investor’s money to file a stack of empty pages bearing fraudulent charges, just to keep John and his two dynamite ideas from entering the marketplace. This represents the most blatant example of a conscious, deliberate, methodical abuse of the legal system to maintain a monopoly that I’ve ever seen. With my limited understanding of such, at the very least I see Taser as a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization. The whole event smacks of Anti-Trust violations galore.

John got back from Phoenix and had two days of medical treatments. On Friday, he sat down and re-read everything that Taser had mailed him, that their law firm had sent him, the judge’s rulings so far, and the copious notes he took while sitting in that cheesy motel. I must admit, John’s memory for details is unimpeachable. The guy writes everything down. One of the things he did that Friday was to type up his version of an agreement as Taser’s lawyer Mitchell had asked for him to do. John asked me to read it over and proof it. I did and here is a copy.
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The counter agreement was faxed directly to Mitchell at his office in Squire, Sanders and Dempsey at about 3 minutes to five, Phoenix time. By Tuesday morning, John was getting worried again that something was up in Scottsdale again so he sent another fax to Taser’s at-bat attorney, and pleaded his case again.

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Thursday morning arrived and still no acknowledgment from Squire, Sanders and Dempsey, or Attorney Mitchell Fleischmann, or even Taser and Doug Klint; nothing! Friends and colleagues have been calling every day to express their concerns. Even Mike Reynolds called from the Mayo Clinic, to provide emotional support, even with all his health problems. Mike is a great guy. I’ve met him a few times and knew from the first meeting that he is definitely one of the good guys.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I just had to add this!

April 25th, 2005

After the Cease and Desist letter that Doug Klint sent arrived, within 24 hours, everything that could be remotely considered a trademark infringement (the use of M26, X26, Advanced Taser, the Globe and Lightning Bolt logo, and anything in any combination of the offending words and logos was removed from all documents and website. John was so mad when he found out later that Ray never discontinued using the tasermasterinstructor@yahoo.com e-mail address. When he did, he told Ray to terminate it’s usage at once. I think that’s the actual reason Ray left.

The whole claim made by Taser that John’s usage of the phrase “Tazer” was causing confusion in the marketplace is bogus too. There is nothing in existence anywhere that shows that John ever attempted to pass off or represent anything he made or marketed as being a Taser International product. The web site has the very same listings for the ATT/DeSantis holsters that John designed and Gene manufactured. You can see for your self at www.att-tactical.com. If you find anything that remotely violates Doug Klint’s first letter, I’ll take you to lunch at the Four Seasons here in Manhattan.

Just for the record John holds an application registration number for his paperwork that he filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office for the use of the word Tazer to be used as a descriptor for Electro-Muscular-Disruption Holsters. John plans on using the mark for his rendition of holsters for the LENF Stun Pistol and the Stinger Systems Stinger.

Taser’s repeating John’s statement that “100 percent of ATT-Tactical’s customers are Taser customers is a correct statement. John markets Holsters specifically designed to be used with only Taser International products. If Taser made a better holster, then no one would buy John’s, right?

I am having a very hard time dealing with John getting bulldozed by Taser and their law firm.

By the way, if you haven’t figured it out yet, the principal of this story is my friend,
John Parmerton.

Its in God's hands now!

It’s in Gods hands now!
April 25th, 2005

I just got off the phone with John. He finished with the Judge and Taser’s lawyer at about 3:30 Arizona time. I was home just finishing dinner when he called. My wife cleared the table and handed me a legal pad and a pen, because she knew I just had to interview John on what happened. He said that he couldn’t tell if the dry mouth was from nerves or if the dry afternoon was sucking the life out of him. I asked him to start from the beginning.

For the amount of money he scrounged up from other friends, the only plane tickets he could afford were with Southwest Airlines out of McArthur Airport. The tickets cost $88 each way plus the taxes cost a total of $218. He found a cheap motel 4 blocks north of the federal court house for $45 a night, cash. That left about $75 in his pocket for food and transport to and from the airport. After all that, there was just enough for McDonalds and 3 happy meals. Sunday night John arrived in Phoenix and said the flight was long and bumpy. A bag of peanuts and a can of warm Coke were a poor substitute for a hot meal. The Airport Shuttle cost another $20. The motel, something called The Budget Inn was an East Indian owned dive with dripping plumbing and a too soft mattress. It was the only non-smoking room they had but the room’s doorway was right on the parking lot. Every time someone would pull up and leave their car running while they walked into the office to register, the exhaust fumes would seep under the door. It was not a pleasant night. There was a gun fight a few blocks away around 1 am, and John said that after hearing 5 shots, not a single squad car siren was heard responding. He didn’t sleep at all he said. All he could do was lie in bed and stare at the ceiling. The next morning he walked the 4 blocks to the only food place for blocks; McDonalds, and had a light breakfast.

The walk over to the courthouse was uneventful except for the dozens of transients and hobo’s wandering around the morning’s streets. He arrived at the court house when they opened the doors, and passed through the security checkpoint. One of the Federal Security Service officers told him that there was a full service cafe in the back of the building. John walked back and bought a cup of coffee and a sweet roll and sat down.
The room started to fill up with the morning’s arrivals and building employees. Each, taking their meal and finding a seat. Three legal looking types sat at the table John was occupying. Their conversations eventually focused around a death that occurred in New York on Friday the 21st. They were talking about how the Taser was to blame. That’s when John jumped in. It seems he saw the story in Sunday’s Newsday and even had the torn-out article in his bag. He passed it around and the three read it entirely. One named Tom asked John what he was doing in the courthouse. Then John let got with a long story ending with his arrival in Phoenix. Tom said that he thought that the court didn’t even have jurisdiction over what John does in New York State. He asked John if he ever sold delivered or crossed a state line with either of the products. John told him he had not and in fact never finished the filing of the patents because of the weight of the Taser lawsuit. John asked if there was such thing as a court appointed attorney for such cases, and the answer was no. John’s court time was 1:30 and John still had several hours to kill until then. He tried to catch up on some of the sleep he was missing, but the noise of the building prevented sleep from overtaking him.

It was 1:30 and John was sitting in a pew in the courtroom. A young man in a $300 suit walked in with an armful of papers. He turned towards John after setting the bundle down and said “John?” He said his name was Mitchell Fleishmann and held out his hand. John could barely look up at him much less lift his arm up to return the handshake. He said he was Taser’s attorney and sat down to await the arrival of the Judge. He turned towards John once again and said that he had a copy of the Consent Decree with him and that if John would sign it right away, he would tell the Judge everything was settled. John shook his head no. All John said he could think of was how Ed Wolf, John’s friend the lawyer, couldn’t find any common ground with Taser’s attorneys. John thought this guy was a big wig with the law firm and he was going to be the “hammer to drive the nail in the last inch”. When Tracy, the Judge’s Clerk called John’s case, he didn’t know what to do. Taser’s attorney indicated where John was suppose to sit and announced himself as Attorney for the plaintiffs’. The Judge asked John to identify himself and John said his name for the record and that he was also representing his company. The Judge corrected John by saying that he could only represent himself and not the company. John didn’t know what to do. His company was a Sub-Chapter S New York Corporation and he was the sole holder of all shares and all executive positions. John tried to tell the Judge such, but again his Honor corrected him. This sent John for a loop. Did this mean he was not officially there in the courtroom?

It was the Taser attorney’s turn first. As soon as he opened his mouth, John knew this was the first time this attorney had ever seen any of the paperwork. Squire, Saunders and Dempsey sent in an associate with no background of the case. John listened as the Lawyer read verbatim from all the filings that his law firm had filed with the court.
The best part was when he read line 124 of the original ammended complaint; "Defendants' produce a device called the TASER LIMDIN projectile".
The attorney had just entered into court records a lie. His lawfirm submitted a false document for filing. No such designation existed. The lawyer again stated for the record that "produces a hand-held gun called a LEMDIN and a had-held gun called a Lite-Tazer". As you know, neither of John's designs were hand-held Stun Guns.
It was John’s turn. He stood there in front of the judge and told him that he was one man with no billion dollar company, with no billion dollar law firm and that he had no one to represent him or at the very least look out for his best interest. The Judge had a stern look come over his weathered face shaped of too many years of back to back courtroom proceedings. The Judge admonished John for not having representation. It was obvious that the Judge understood what the obstacles for an individual without a lawyer were ahead for John. John felt that the Judge knew he needed help but was helpless to provide any assistance. His Honor asked John if he would consent to never using the actual trademarks ever again, and John started to explain that he hadn’t used any of them since first receiving that letter from Doug Klint. The Judge said that John should not interrupt a judge and John apologized. The Judge asked that John and Taser’s lawyer step into a back room and try to hammer out a deal. John agreed and the two walked into the Lawyer’s Room.

By now John knew the lawyer didn’t know or have any background in what had transpired between Taser and himself. John asked for the same deal that they gave ALS and Electronic Defense Technology, which was a Dismissal without Prejudice. The attorney said that he did not have the power to negotiate, only to get John’s signature on that Consent Decree. John saw that the guy wasn’t so bad and even may have had a good heart. Anyway, John unloaded about an hour’s worth of history on the guy. And for a as a final point, he told him about the impending David Glowczenski lawsuit that John has been told that he would be called as a hostile witness to. He even mentioned about the death Friday night where the Suffolk County Police shot a black male five times with and X26, and that John was involved with the sales and the training for that department too. He even told him about the phone conversation between Ed Wolf and how Taser’s attorney’s said that John was on his own as far as any legal help in these ever mounting wrongful death lawsuits. John said that this Consent Decree was the least of his worries in the big picture. He was deathly afraid that he would be made a defendant in these cases and would not be able to defend himself thanks to Taser’s denial of protection. John repeated that he would have to testify as to what Rick Smith and Hans Marrero told him to say in sales pitches as well as training classes. Remember that I mentioned that the “Non-Lethal” marketing phase would come back to haunt Taser?

The attorney was at least a man about it and told John that if he didn’t feel comfortable with the way the settlement was written up that he shouldn’t sign it. Wow, John thought.
The two struck a deal that John would cross out the parts of the Consent Decree that he didn’t like and would provide a written document that detailed what he would be willing to do in order to put this whole nonsense behind him. John has to send the attorney the signed copies and letter by end of this Friday’s business. John asked the young attorney to be a man and let him know if the powers that be at his office and at Taser inform him that they don’t care for any modifications or adjustments and that they would rather beat John into nonexistence, to give John a courtesy call so that there would be no wasted efforts. Why beat a dead horse? John said he would be in the Judge’s courtroom on May 16th to again, answer the complaint and would be ready for trial. They shook hands and returned to the courtroom. The case was called again and the Taser attorney detailed that a dialogue had been started and that an agreement could be worked out by May 16th. The Judge entered that date on his court calendar and said good day to them both. John wasn’t quite sure what had happened and he wanted to talk to someone. He rode the elevator back down to the lobby and sat down in one of the upholstered chairs. I was his first call.

He travels all day on Tuesday and I will not speak to him until next Saturday.
I’ll keep you all posted.

Next Time: The Saga Continues

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Lawsuit from Hell!

The Lawsuit from HELL

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Here is the story on those Funny Pictures that are circulating around the web; as it was told to me by Ray, the pictures started to arrive in the tasermasterinstructor@yahoo.com mailbox. The sender’s address was sketch_artist@aol.com. Ray wrote back but the address bounced all his messages. Ray said that he pieced together from the images the sender’s reason for producing them. He figured the pictures were sent by a Texas cop who attended a training class that Hans Marrero taught. During the class, Hans broke the cop’s finger and never apologized. The cop was desk bound on limited duty for several weeks and had access to a computer. The cop sent quite a few of these home-made lampoons to Ray. Ray deleted several dozen of the more sexually graphic pictures, but he posted the funnier ones on the ATT-Tactical website for everyone to enjoy. Here they are as they were included in a public document filed in federal court.
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Ray said that the first pictures he received, expressed a theme that “Taser was being run by a Barrel of Monkeys” which explains the Monkey Boy reference.
The pictures floated in one or two at a time. They were sent as a link to a photo hosting website which is where Ray downloaded the images then uploaded them to the company website. The page titled “funnypages.html” was a big hit with a huge influx of page views. This in turn increased the views of the LEMDIN and Lite-Tazer pages. Again, I have to point out that John had complied with every wish, whim and demand that Douglas Klint made upon him. After Klint’s first letter so many months earlier demanded that all usage of the M26, X26, Advanced Taser, Globe and lightning bolt logo was complied with on the very same day the letter arrived, John made sure that nothing else was violating any trademark that Taser held.

Mike and Sandy were getting impatient with John and Mike. They had money to invest but wanted a fully patented product line before the check was cut. There were several meetings in the following months with progress reports indicating steady headway in finalizing product design and construction. Mike was a stickler for detail and would make several prototypes of each modification just so he could perform consistent destructive tests. His end of the project was progressing slow but steady. John on the other hand was in charge of the ballistic propulsion system for the LEMDIN Stun Module. He must have loaded and reloaded over 1500 40mm aluminum cartridges that he made himself individually. His exacting specifications for the high pressure / low pressure chambers of the cartridge needed to be precise otherwise the driving force of the pyrotechnic charge would destroy the Stun Module even before it launched out of the barrel. Days were spend at the Suffolk County Police Department’s Firearms Training range testing batch loads of cartridges with an inert module of the same payload weight that Mike was shooting for in his work on the Stun Module. After several hundred tests, John had finalized the cartridge design and volumetric specifications to such an apex that he could call his shot on a target at 75 feet to within 10 inches. This was no small feat.

Mike Reynolds had to split his workload between the LEMDIN and designing the circuitry for the Lite-Tazer Screw-on Module for the Mag-Light. New York City Department of Corrections was calling every week checking on its progress. To have the Lite-Tazer carried by Corrections Officers on Riker’s Island would be a major marketing prize, and would propel John’s small one-man company into a major player in the Law Enforcement equipment marketplace. Please remember that everyone associated with John and the projects were working for no compensation. All of them were doing it out of friendship and a desire to see John do well. Don’t be fooled though, they also saw that there was a very real chance that they would make out handsomely when the company went public. Mike and Sandy had everything in place. From the initial capital investment, to the banking firm to handle the IPO to the back office management needed to make a newly public company into a global powerhouse.

One of the “Friends of John” was a former Lieutenant of the Suffolk County Police Department; Bruce was also a Marine Corp reservist who had connections with USMC Weapons Procurement and Logistics. Bruce was to be John’s conduit to the military in getting the LEMDIN into the right hands. He gave several of the earlier mock-up prototypes to Bruce who passed them on through proper channels. All this time, John was financing everything out of his own pocket. Since the profits from Taser sales stopped when he was terminated, he had to work twice as hard selling the rest of his product line to finance the continuing Research and Development. Mike Reynolds helped out with a few bucks as did Ray and myself. Funny, now that I look back on it, I gave it without hesitation. I saw in John’s eyes the determination and drive of a winner and knew that he would pull us all along with him to the top. That was, until the Process Server knocked on the door.

The Lawsuit

I was there the day the Process Server arrived. He walked in unannounced and said “John?” as he scanned the office looking for any subliminal acknowledgement. Not being shy, John answers “Say Hey!” and the Server handed a stack of papers 3 inches thick to him. John looked at the cover page and saw that it was a massive lawsuit the Taser International had filed with the Phoenix Federal Courts against him and the company. It was identified by file number CV 04-0738-PHX-PGR. Without blinking an eye John asked the guy if he was a local Private Investigator. The guy who’s name was Shawn Stiebel, was startled when John stuck out his hand to shake the Process Server’s hand. As the two shook, John handed him a business card and said that if he needed any equipment for his business, to please call him for the best prices. The poor guy did not know what to make of that kind of reaction, since all of is previous services were adversarial. That was John’s way of doing business. If you’re a stand-up guy, he took an instant liking to you.

Everyone there that day took turns reading through the hundreds of pages that made up the lawsuit. I can tell you that it was not a boiler-plate job. Each page was specifically written out to address almost a dozen alleged civil crimes. My head was spinning from all the wherefore, herein and there fore’s that littered the documents. Taser really got their money’s worth from the law firm of Squire, Saunders and Dempsey; one of the largest multi-national, multi-practice law firms in the country. John and his company had been accused of Patent Infringement, Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition, Defamation, Invasion of Privacy and Trade Libel. John was beside himself with shock over the massive accusation. He turned white before my eyes, and had to sit down. John had just been tagged by Taser as the most dangerous man on the face of the earth, at least that’s the way the lawsuit read.

Ray Peres threw his hands in the air and said it was over. He walked to his car and we never saw from him again. I immediately cleaned up the company website and sanitized it to the lawsuit’s standard. I protested all the way telling John that the lampoons were protected under the first amendment just as political cartoons are. John would have none of it and asked me strongly, to remove each and every item detailed in the lawsuit. I did it that very day, and I have maintained the site up until very recently when Drew came on board to manage the server.

For the next several hours, we all tried to assure John that this was nothing more then a blatant attempt to prevent him from bringing his products to market. That’s when the phone rang. It was Danny Alverez from ALS Technology in Bull Shoals Arkansas calling. He told John that he too had been served with a big fat Patent Infringement lawsuit. Since I knew that when a public company had to inform its stockholders if it initiates or is a subject of litigation. I turned on my laptop and checked the current Taser SEC Filing that was posted in the internet. Sure enough, there was John’s name as well as his company listed right there on Taser’s 10KSQ. The way the report was written, to the uninformed, that little addition to Taser’s filing would hit John like the hammers of hell. Also detailed was the litigation against ALS Technology and Electronic Defense Technology of Ohio. Its President, Dennis Kauffman, and old timer in the stun business, who for years would buy Pro-Tech clear plastic Riot Shields and tape them up with aluminum duct tape connected to 18 volts power supplied 150,000 volt Stun Shields. He also made the Band-it Prisoner Stun Belts that you may have seen on episodes of Court TV. Taser’s shotgun-deployment of lawsuits blanketed the county and as I see it, all of their competition. John had no idea as to what to do next. His friend and co-designer of the LEMDIN and Lite-Tazer Stun Modules, Mike Reynolds, had a friend who was a very successful criminal attorney.
Mike called Eddie Wolf and made an appointment the next day for him and John to sit down together. As John tells it, that night, his sleep problems started.

It was 11 am with Mike and John walking into Eddie’s office. Eddie appeared from his personal office when he was summoned by the receptionist. Well tanned, with silver gray hair combed meticulously. John said the suit had to cost at least a grand. The man greeted Mike with open arms and a minute long hug that showed a true bond of friendship between the two. Eddie would move the earth and sun for Mike if he asked which as it turned out he did. Ed introduced himself to John and with a strong but reassuring grip; he at once felt at ease. The three men sat down in Ed’s office and discussed the previous day’s events. John laid it all out for him with Mike filling in the background. Ed asked John how much money he had to dedicate towards fighting the suit, and John told him the truth. He was tapped out. All his credit cards were max’ed and cash flow was just enough to cover building rent and utilities. In other words zero. Mike asked Ed if he though he could help out and Ed answered “as a friend of both of you, I’ll reach out to these lawyers of Taser’s and see what I can negotiate.” Mike and John thanks Ed, bided their farewells and drove back to John’s shop. The worked that night and the rest of that week on their assigned projects. That Saturday, another phone call came. It was Mike Berkowitz and Sandy Edelman. They had heard about the lawsuit and were inquiring as to whether it would affect the company and its products. John gave them an answer, but it wasn’t the one they wanted to hear. Mike and Sandy responded that they could not continue to consider bringing the company public until the lawsuit was settled and the products remained viable. This is where I think John’s heart started to weaken. Whether it was anxiety attack or a mini stroke, I was never told. A few weeks later, Ed Wolf called John and asked him to stop by his office for a sit-down. John agreed for the next day.

Eddie greeted him as if they knew each other since childhood. Eddie had a few dozen years on John, but it was obvious they hit it off right away. Eddie said to John, “you’re either an evil genius or the most unlucky man alive.” They sat down and Ed told him that he had been talking to Donald Wall, the lead attorney for the case, at Taser’s law firm. Eddie said that it was extremely difficult to create a dialog with them and that they were very hostile towards Eddie’s suggestion of John promising to never do what ever they said he did again in exchange for them dropping the lawsuit. Eddie reached for his phone and dialed the offices of Squire, Saunders and Dempsey, and asked for Donald Wall. He put his phone on speaker and when Wall answered he greeted him. Eddie asked Wall if his proposal of promising to never do it again was acceptable with his clients and Wall responded that “he can’t get away with nothing, he has to pay for what he did.”
Wall had demanded that John sign a Consent Decree and pay for all of Taser’s legal expenses, which Wall indicated was $40,000. Eddie told him he’d ask what John wanted to do. Eddie placed his hand over the mouthpiece and said to John that there was no chance that any deal could be reached with such an arrogant individual. He said he has never dealt with such a stone wall before in his practice. John told Eddie that he would have a hard time coming up with $40 much less $40,000. Eddie told John that the best thing to do was to throw himself at the feet of Taser’s lawyers and pray that they don’t take too much. Eddie told Wall that there was no money from which John could pay Taser with and that Chapter 11 Bankruptcy was his only option, which meant Taser would get nothing. Wall responded that he would have his associate attorney draw up a Consent Decree with no money penalty and forward it the John for signing. John then asked Eddie to ask Donald Wall a question. This would set the ground work for several events to follow.

Back in the beginning of 2003, John sold the Village of Southampton PD several M26 Taser’s as well as a supply of cartridges. John and Jay trained the department’s officers late in the prior year at the Southampton Town Police Training Facility. It was by the way, the class that John Visintini made his now famous statement about the number of officers needed to deploy. Remember his demand that John stop saying that 3 officers were needed because Taser wanted to sell one gun to every officer and not one to every three? Well, John and Jay were teaching that the Taser was NON-LETHAL and were still suggesting as per factory directive that the Taser should be placed at or below OC (Pepper Spray). Well, in February of 2004, The Village of Southampton PD shot a 35 ½ year old retarded man named David Glowczenski 9 times with one of the Taser’s that John sold and delivered and trained for. The Glowczenski family Lawyer had been in contact with John and had implied that John and his company could be added as defendants to the billion dollar lawsuit. John asked Eddie to ask Wall, if Taser would cover him for all the legal expenses.
Eddie asked and Wall responded that “as of April 1st 2003, John was on his own and all connections including financial and liability terminated on that date.”

Eddie hung up the phone. John was again suffering silently with chest pains. Eddie told him that as a friend, he did everything he could. As a lawyer, he said, it would take a minimum of $400-450,000 to defend and beat back the suit. The most damaging and the most damming was the Defamation part. Seems Hans Marrero felt that “Monkey Boy” was a depiction of him and that the pictures that Ray had posted on the website constituted overt racism. It didn’t matter that everyone at Taser was depicted in the images, Hans’ hurt feelings was the strongest charge in the lawsuit. Even Jimmy McNulty, a California lawyer and holder of several stun technology patents said that defending against the charge of racism would be impossible. John had no chance of recovery and his dreams came crashing down around him. The two men shook hands and Eddie asked to be kept up to date as to how he’s doing. John said he would and walked out. The drive home was the most challenging for John. His vision blurred several times and the squeezing in his chest made him cry. He had to pull over several times and wait out the acute pain events before continuing his way. He had to see a doctor, but how since the health care policy premium went towards the machine shop bill for the Lite-Tazer.

Mike Reynolds had been battling Endocrine Cancer for most of the time he was working with John. Mike started to travel back a forth to Manhattan several times a week for treatment. He tried to continue working on the final versions of the LEMDIN and Lite-Tazer Stun Module but the treatments tired Mike out and zapped him of all his energy. Mike had the final prototypes of both in a box by his kitchen table. One day he put it in his garage and that is the last anyone has seen of it. Since the lawsuit seemed a done deal, there was no desire to resurrect the products to marketplace. All of Mike’s ground breaking circuitry schematics for the LEMDIN and the Lite-Tazer as well as all of John’s machining specifications for the launching cartridge body as well as the pyrotechnic loadings were in that box, lost forever.
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It was September of 2004 that John received the letter from David E. Rogers of Taser’s law firm. Inside was a Consent Decree with instructions for John to sign and send back ASAP. John read it and tried to understand it the best he could but failed to fully comprehend the ramifications of affixing his signature. He didn’t want to impose on his friendship with Ed Wolf anymore; the guy extended a ton of his time and asked for nothing but a handshake. One of the details in the Settlement portion stated that John was to turn over all original documentation and all samples in existence of both the LEMDIN and the Lite-Taser.
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John still had the dummy mock-up of the LEMDIN that he used for the pictures on the web page but everything else disappeared from Mike Reynolds garage. John wrote back to Mr. Rogers and notified him that he would sign anything that they sent him but that he had no legal counsel to review the documents. John asked that they provide a layman’s version so that it would be easily understood and competently complied with. John also sent the LEMDIN mock-up with the explanation that it was all that was left, and that he had nothing else in his possession. Mike had suffered a severe stroke and was in a VA Hospital somewhere. The cancer was slowly killing him. I really like Mike. He’s a gregarious type of guy who would give you his last dollar if he knew it would help.

It was October of 2004 and John was leaving for several days of medical treatments, and would be convalescing for a few weeks afterward. I was collecting John’s mail from the company Post Office Box and the street mail box. Mr. Rogers send the following letter back:

That was on October 26th or 27th and I refused it because John was still unavailable and the Post Office said it had to be signed by the addressee. It was an official document and I did not hold a Power of Attorney for John. What was I to do? John was still several days away from walking again, and the Postal clerk wanted an answer right then. I told them I couldn’t accept it legally and they stamped it REFUSED and returned it to Rogers.

One day, I spotted a letter from Taser’s law firm. It was a court filing of a “Declaration of David E. Rogers in Support for Plaintiffs’ Application for Entry of Default” I did not dare call John and tell him. He was still convalescing. Stapled to it was the letter stating that Rogers had no way of contacting John or his company because there was no phone numbers? I found that funny since John had been Tasers sole distributor in New York State since 2000 and Stacie Sundberg even had his cell phone number in her records. Hans even callied one of John’s business cards so he could call if he lost another knife. I wrote an E-Mail from my daytime (real) job to the mailbox of David Rogers at Squire, Saunders and Dempsey. I demanded to know why they were proceeding with a default when John hasn’t even received the Consent Decree that Wall had talked about. Trish Berard, an associate attorney, responded via e-mail that they had no way of reaching John and that the previously mailed Consent Decree was refused and they were proceeding as if he had failed to answer the complaint. She attached the Consent Decree and a Settlement Agreement to her message. I downloaded it and printed it out for John to sign. I drove over to where John was staying and asked him to sign the document and put the whole matter to an end. John signed it all right but he wrote below his signature that he didn’t fully understand the document and that he had no review by counsel. I express mailed it to Ms. Berard the next morning. That was November 25th.

On December 3rd, I received another e-mail from Trish Berard. She was mad that John added extra language to the document, and that by doing so meant there was no agreement. She indicated that John had to sign another copy and get it back to her by December 8th. The problem was, I was away from work on a scheduled vacation until January 3rd, and didn’t read the e-mail until I got back to work. I wrote her back and told her why I was late in responding and that I would have John’s signature that night on a fresh copy. But he did it again. This time he wrote under his name that “Trish Barard had told him to sign it and it was the best thing to do”. What was I to do but to send it back to Ms. Barard. It was January 11th that the envelope from Squire, Saunders and Dempsey arrived at John’s shop. It contained something called a “Plaintiffs’ Notice of Filing Affidavit of Service on Defendant”. It was signed and dated January 11th, by Karen McElroy. Attached to it was a copy of the Process Server’s (Shawn Stiebel) Affidavit of Service of Summons and Complaint. The Affidavit was dated by Shawn on May 8th, 2004. John handed it to me and asked me if I could make heads or tails of it. I hadn’t a clue. For the next several days I heard nothing back so I told John of my fears and he said he’d write a letter to the judge. I told him that he had to send a copy to Taser’s attorney David Rogers. He did and here is a copy of that letter that he sent on January 18th of this year:

January ended with a light snow fall. All was peaceful except for John. The stress of not knowing what was happening with the lawsuit was surly killing him. Doctors were concerned that maybe all those 50,000 volt hits that he took in years previous had some how damaged his aorta and was causing it to spasm. On to of that John developed Prostate problems. I was shocked at how fast he deteriorated from the day the lawsuit had shown up. On February 28, John wrote a letter addressed to the clerk of the Judge overseeing the federal court case. John pleaded with the clerk to again say that he was “answering the complaint” and that he was scared that a Default Judgment was about to or had already been snuck in.

On March 11, a letter arrived from the Judge’s clerk Tracy O’Steen. She indicated that just such an event had happened. Taser’s attorney’s filed a Default on the same day that John’s letters hit the Judges desk. Attached to the Taser paperwork was a Plaintiffs’ Application with Notice for Order Temporary Restraining Order. As indicated by the Judge’s attached ruling on the Restraining order, the Judge said that everything presented was protected under the first amendment (see, I knew I was right) and that the images could never be confused as being factual and were not defamation. He also ordered a hearing in his courtroom for April 25th at 1:30 pm to hear arguments as to whether a default judgment should be entered.
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The whole line of crap that Taser’s attorneys couldn’t get in touch with John was bogus. I personally took out of John’s Shop mailbox a Christmas card addressed directly to him from “The Team at Taser International”. Even stranger was the fact that John received a personal invitation to attend the grant opening of the new Taser building on April 1st.

As I am uploading this to the Blog, John is traveling there to appear before his honor at 1:30.
I don’t know if it means anything to you but John is in Phoenix at the same time that Taser is holding their yearly Training and Tactics conference at their new Scottsdale facility. I wonder if Hans will show up in court on Monday.

Next Time: It’s in God’s hands now!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The plot thickens

It was in late 1999, that John first approached the New York City Department of Corrections about their possibly purchasing and deploying Taser’s. Thanks to several very good close friends, who were employed by the NYCD, John was able to get a meeting with Commissioner William Frasier. During the meeting, John did his now famous demonstration on himself. The Commissioner and the Wardens attending were collectively very impressed with the Taser’s effectiveness and ease of use. John left a Test and Evaluation unit and a few cartridges with the agency. About 45 days later, John got a call to travel to Riker’s Island and pick up the Taser. Once there, he visited the office of one of his friends as directed. The Captain handed the gun to John and pronounced that the Taser would never be used in any NYC Cell Block because of its firearm shape. The Corrections Department did not want anything onto the tiers that could possibly be interpreted as an actual firearm. That’s when John’s inventor/business sense took over. While he was at Riker’s, he saw that most if not all of the Corrections Officers carried “D”-Cell flashlights. The million dollar idea was to make a module that screwed onto the back of a Mag-Lite (made by Mag Instruments) that would accept a Taser Brand Air Cartridge and fire it. The idea started to take shape and by January 2000, a working prototype was finished. Several dozen assemblies were made, with the plan to make presentations to potential investors. The whole project was thrown into a box and placed on the shelf. Extra funding vanished. John’s cash flow was severely hampered by several very large Taser orders to departments in central Connecticut and upstate New York. The Lite-Tazer would not see the light of day for almost a year.

Here is what John told me exactly; “I would sell the Taser and the cartridges to the agency, and they would send me a Purchase Order. Then I would attach my Purchase Order and send it to Stacie at Taser. She would eventually get the order together and drop-ship it to the agency, with an invoice sent to me. My problem was that Taser’s only available credit terms (as they told me) were 30-days Net. This was a problem because there is neither police department nor federal agency anywhere that pays in 30-days. That means I had to borrow from the bank to cover the Taser invoice by that 30-day mark.”
He continued; “So I’m paying points to the banks, and Taser’s Accounts Receivables is on the phone to me on the 31st day. I had shipments delayed and my account put on hold because I was 36 days out once. They would call me on my cell phone during my dinner, just to demand that I send a check out FedEx the next day. That $100 a gun profit that was built into the factory “Agency Price” was eaten up fast by the interest on the float loan” John said that Taser’s heavy-handed collections efforts caused a lot of misgivings.

It was May 2001, while working with Jay Kehoe teaching a Taser Operator/Instructor class in Rockland County New York that he came up with a new innovative idea. John had been a factory certified Master Instructor for Armor Holding’s Def-Tec Division for their entire Less-Lethal munitions products. One such product was their 37 mm Baton round used to disable individuals by kinetic impact energy transfer. The idea was to combine an impact munitions with a Taser like device which would have a combined less-lethal effect on the subject. Yes, I said less-lethal. This highly innovative idea developed into the Launchable Electro-Muscular-Disruption Impact Munition or L.E.M.D.I.M. for short.

John’s products were designed, manufactured, intended and promoted with the understanding that they were capable of causing injury and or death. He wasn’t so pompous as to promote them as Non-Lethal as Taser did. That little foible is what Taser is so rapidly reversing them from, now. Thanks to John’s extensive working knowledge of the majority of technologies and their failings, he knew that to try to say that his products were non-lethal then change his nomenclature over to less-lethal, would severely effect his reputation within the law enforcement community. Beside, he was more concerned with his customer’s safety then he was with profits. As far as his business ethos was concerned, in a civil enforcement environment, non-lethal meant just that, with less-lethal having a much more restrictive outcome. Taser’s current insistence in relying on the military definition of non-lethal (where grave physical injury and or death was an acceptable end result) was not an attempt by them to readjust the sliding scale of lethality interpretation, then it was to explain away and justify the ever mounting death toll. To arrogantly tell end-users that the product they were told were non-lethal when they purchased them now possessed an “acceptable risk of death” was criminal.

The LEMDIM was a collaboration and homogenation of the minds of John and his close friend, Mike Reynolds. Mike was a former Marine, another retired cop as well as an accomplished electrical engineer. It was Mike’s ground-up development of the electrical components and fitting them into the shock module that was the genius of the product. John’s contribution was the propulsion of the shock module. At the apex of the LEMDIN’s development, John had the payload hitting a 10” paper plate set at 75 feet, 10 out of 10 times. This was no little feat, since several other entities it turned out were stuck on that part of the equation. John solved it and it surpassed all his expectations. John and Mike worked all their spare time on the project. They went from salvaging sub-components from broken M26 Tasers, to using parts from Bestex Stun Guns, to finally developing a working relationship with capacitor and coil manufacturers. Their work was slow but steady. Mike developed his own layout for producing the end results. His developing ideas had redused the total sub-componants by almost half, of the competitions. A better mousetrap!
During all this, John was still marketing, training and promoting Taser as hard as he could. Remember, that during his initial exposure to Rick Smith and Taser, John accepted the official Taser mantra of “non-lethal” to the point of absurdity. As more and more subjects died after exposure to Taser, John developed misgivings over his exuberant promotion of the product. Every time the news of another death appeared in a newspaper, Taser would immediately issue a press release specifically addressing the death and professing plausible deniability. The evidence to the contrary was adding up.

It was 2003 and bigger departments with bigger orders were coming on board with Taser and John. The City of Rochester placed a very large order for guns and cartridges. They also placed an order directly with John for his 6-pak chargers, his batteries and his holsters. I know for a fact that he promoted Taser’s first and even provided test samples for them. Regardless, Rochester PD wanted John’s products instead. Around the same time, the City of White Plains also placed a large order. ALSO, John’s local Police department, the Suffolk Co. PD placed a large order too. All three agencies were heavily lobbied by John. He worked hard with each department’s Training Officers, to make sure they got the correct equipment that they needed. White Plains received their order factory direct first. They bought their Taser’s without rechargeable batteries or holsters with plans to purchase them at a later date. The invoice was paid in full by John.

Rochester and the Suffolk orders on the other hand had several thousand dollars worth of John’s holsters and batteries/chargers. Since he had them in stock, he shipped them right away. The products from Taser were delayed due to production problems, or so Stacie Sundberg at Taser said.

On February 25, 2003, John submitted an order for $12,898.03 worth of Tasers and cartridges to be drop-shipped to the Town of Colonie PD. The department was an easy sell, but the financials were hard to work out. After many months of wrangling with the town’s budget Manager, an order was finely placed. The 25 M-26’s and the assortment of cartridges with accessories were delivered on the 15th of March. John received the factory’s invoice dated 03/12/03 with 2/10 Net 30 terms. That meant payment was not due until April 12th at the latest. This will be important in a few more paragraphs.
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Yes it was that time of year again. The now annual Taser Conference was scheduled for May 8th, through the 11th, at the Rosen Hotel in Orlando Florida. Visintini e-mailed to John the message shown below. This is the first time that attendance was mandatory. John called Visintini and asked about the new policy. He said that the company was going to weed out non-productive distributors as well as consolidate territories. He expressed to John that he better be there. John contacted his friend Jay Kehoe and they made arraignments to travel together and split housing costs in Orlando. As the Distributor, it was John’s duty to cover the costs for such an event, to have Jay attend. Tickets were bought for $700 and the rooms were prepaid at $350.

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During the early part of 2003, Taser started their PR push of their impending release of their new X26 Advanced Taser. As more and more press releases were produced for trade publications, more and more inquires as to availability came in at John’s small business establishment. Also around this time, John was introduced to two money men. Venture Capitalists who liked what they saw in John’s LEMDIN and his Lite-Tazer. They sat down with John and ran numbers past him so fast that life stood still for the moment. They did all sorts of expensive research on the marketability and profitability of John’s products and liked the numbers they were seeing. Mike Berkowitz and Sandy Edelman were becoming fast friends with John, and wanted to make him a millionaire. Of course they wanted a return on their money too, so some seed money helped John and Mike Reynolds continue with the LEMDIN’s development. The Lite-Tazer plans and schematics were sent out to several area machine shops for quotes and pricing was received. It looked like John’s products were soon coming to market. Patent applications were drawn up and just needed a little tweaking before being submitted.

The last of March, 2003

The phone call from Paula Dobbs was the first indication that something was up with Taser. She was very insistent that John mail the payment for the current and only invoice outstanding. That $12,898.03 invoice; the Colonie PD deal, was not even due until April 12th, yet Paula wanted the check Express Mailed next day, so she could release the larger Rochester PD order, or so she said. John did not want to delay the Rochester order any longer. It had been held up because of what Stacie said was production problems. He placed the order in January and called every two weeks asking Stacie where it was. The production problems answer was really starting to get thin by this time. The sincere tone in Paula’s voice worked perfect in that there was no hint of a malevolent undertone to the request. John not wanting to cause Paula any grief said that he would mail out the payment as soon as possible.

Cash was tight and White Plains was still 40 days out from making the payment for John’s invoice to them. He wrote out a check from his company cash flow loan account and went to the bank the next day and deposited it. His Teller transferred the funds into John’s business account and asked him how long the funds would be out. John said no more than 30 days. He expected the payment from White Plains to arrive within the next 3 weeks so repayment of the loan would not be a problem nor expensive; only a few points. John traveled back to his office and wrote the check that Paula so aggressively wanted. It was Thursday late so John made up the Express Mail envelope and labeled it. The check went in and he placed the package on the dashboard of his vehicle so he would remember to mail it Friday morning. Friday’s morning trip to the Post Office was uneventful. He picked up the company mail and handed the Express envelope to the Postal Clerk.

Saturday was a regular day of business for Applied Tactical. It was the only official day of business because most if not all weekdays were for sales calls or teaching. John averaged almost 40,000 miles a year traveling all around the northeast, stopping in on Police Departments, giving demonstrations, training or attending and exhibiting at Trade Shows. Friends of John would visit on Saturdays to say hi and spend time picking his brains for technical, legal or tactical tidbits. His friends all valued and respected his knowledge and his expertise in firearms and their maintenance and repair. They would pick through the junk boxes looking for used holsters or handcuffs or some of the thousands of weapon parts that filled the scrap bins that lined the walls of his shop. Many just came by to use the shops gun cleaning bench to service their weapons. One such groupie was Eric Worth. Eric was a computer geek who worked on John’s company website and maintained the computer work station that Mike Reynolds used in the shop. He also arraigned and managed the internet server. On an average Saturday, no less than three marked police cars from as many jurisdictions would be parked in the lot. I too, would meet John at one of these open-house Saturdays and was amazed at what he knew and who he knew. There wasn’t a subject of conversation that he could not command. It was a warm day with plenty of sunshine and a light breeze.
It looked like a great day, until the FedEx drove up.

He walked in and handed John an Express Envelope. The return address was Taser International. He opened it and read the enclosed letter. This was the now famous “Termination Letter”. Taser’s Corporation Counsel, Douglas Klint was the signature of the letter. It basically said that John and his company was no longer a Distributor for Taser and that his Master Instructor status was terminated. It further elaborated that the termination was due to John’s manufacturing and marketing a competing product; the M26MasterCharger and the M26UltraPowerPak power supplies. The very same products that everyone at Taser saw at the second Taser Conference and the same ones that Hans Marrero left the telephone voice message saying that “officers will get killed because of your batteries.” Now John realized why Paula was so insistent that he send the last check so fast and why Stacie was holding up the Rochester order. “Those Bastards” John said. I was there that day and I heard him say it. He handed me the letter and I read it aloud so everyone there could hear for themselves just how dastardly Taser was. John’s next step was to hit the bank and put a stop-payment order on that $12,898.03 check.

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Note the line where Doug Klint said Taser will repay all non-reimbursable expenses?
It was as if John took the $1000, tore it up and tossed it in the air.

The Stop-Payment went through and Taser never got their money. It the weeks that followed, Taser sent out letters to every department that John and his company had dealt Taser products to as well as those with existing orders that Taser “Took - Over” and made house accounts. It was funny to read those letters, which by the way, all those departments forwarded a copy to John’s office. They collectively expressed dismay over his dismissal and vowed they all would remain customers for the hundreds of other product lines that he supported. The most telling part of those letters was the statement that John would be credited for the commissions on the sales. Nothing would be farther from the truth. Even by conservative accounting, that amounted to a lot of money. Stacie had held back on several dozen orders that John submitted.

John attempted to straighten things out with Doug Klint so that business would continue.
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Neither Taser nor Doug Klint bothered to respond to his letter at the time.

Of course that “Termination Letter” stated that “it would be inappropriate for you to attend” the impending conference. John had made all the travel and lodging arraignments for him and Jay Kehoe. John called Jay and informed him of what transpired. Jay expressed amazement as to Taser’s methods. John swears that Jay had no idea that it would happen; I have my reservations. Jay asked John if he could send down to the hotel one of the Training Target stands that John invented for his use during his portion of the Conference. John agreed and added a few dozen of his latest models of Taser holsters for Jay to give out as samples to the other attendees. John stayed back in New York while Jay attended and lectured at the Conference. On the last day that Jay was there, he called John and filled him in on what had transpired. Seems that Hans thought he saw John in the lobby of the hotel and had told all the Taser staff to be on the look-out for him. They were running around the hotel looking for John everywhere. Jay said it was pretty funny.

Jay Kehoe stayed close. He even invited John to continue to attend Taser training classes. There was a shake-up within Taser and several rep groups were terminated. The only survivor was Milton Walsh. Yes, the same Milton Walsh that got, I think, $10 for every Glock Pistol that was ever sold in the US. For some reason, the powers at Taser felt he was still useful and kept him on. John said he never understood why Milton got a piece of every order he wrote, when he did all the work. Walsh never did anything for him and never even called John to see what rep support he needed. Rep groups in general were jokes because they get a taste of every deal regardless of the efforts or lack thereof.

The Suffolk county Police Department received the following on May 7th, 2003
(Note the “compensating” statement.) More money that was never seen.
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From May 31st to July 29th of 2003, John continued to teach to police agencies. He heavily modified his course of instruction so that the word Taser was never mentioned. He taught supplemental Tactics to Factory Certified Taser Instructors. No where did John ever make the claim that he was providing authorized Taser Training. John was simply filling in where Authorized Taser instruction left off. He had almost a hundred used M26’s by this time, so he used them in his courses to earn a buck or two. To this day, John has no idea as to who told Taser that he was providing training, abet non-brand name specific EMD training.

His company website was left unattended since before the receipt of the “Termination Letter.” John asked another of the perpetual gadflies who hung out at his shop to take over maintenance of it. Ray Peres had some computer experience and he tried to keep the servers and the information current. It was around this time that Ray discovered the Yahoo Finance website and the TASR Bulletin Board. Read the letter that Doug Klint sent next;
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Did you catch the part about the “internet pseudonym,” and how “necessary legal action to compel compliance”? To this day, I have not found anyone who believes that Doug Klint was that stupid. John directed Ray to change all the offending “TASER trademarks” that appeared on the website to ones that would not get Mr. Klint so worked up. Ray checked the US Patent and Trademark Office website and found that “TAZER was being used for hundreds of products by hundreds of entities. None of those listings were for holsters so Ray ran with TAZER. A trademark application for the mark for use in marketing “EMD” holsters was sent to the PTO, just as a precaution. Ray also coined the marketing phrases of “M-Gun” and “X-Gun” to be sure of steering clear of Taser’s trademarks for their Guns. Ray added to the website a disclaimer that the website and all who worked on it had no association what so ever with Taser International, Inc. He had it on the template page that all the sites pages were build from. Unbeknownst to him, web search engines would hit on those words and raise the website higher in search engine results.
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John told Ray to build a page on the company’s site for both the LEMDIN and the Lite-Tazer. As John explained it, he wanted to do some pre-market research and see if inquires would come in, as a way of validating the concepts. John gave Ray a few pictures and some early background on the projects and he wrote up product descriptions for them.
The pages were detailed just enough to see the handiwork of Mike Reynolds and how it fit with John’s ingenuity. From what I have been lead to believe, the two money men, Mike Berkowitz and Sandy Edelman had every intention of helping John take his small company public. They really liked the idea of the two products and were excited by the amount and quality of the unsolicited inquires resulting from the web pages. They had expressed plans to finance the Initial Public Offering with a $20 million stake in the company. This pushed John hard to make his dreams a realization. Give Law Enforcement a product that would ensure their going home to their families every night.

Next Time: The Lawsuit from HELL

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Short Story about Stacie

On May 31, 2002, John received a call from John Visintini. Visintini was requesting that John do a follow-up call on the New York City Department of Corrections. He said that Stacie had sent out an M26 and several air cartridges to a Director. The hairs on the back of John’s neck stood up upon receiving this news. John knew very well that things hadn’t changed at Corrections and that there was no active testing of Tasers. John told Visintini this, but was rebuffed at his insistence that something was very wrong with this event. John informed him that someone professing that they were a Correctional Officer for NYC had contacted via E-Mail back on April 3rd looking to purchase an M26 for Test and Evaluation for that Department. Visintini provided that he was sure that it was legitimate and that it was John’s duty as the state’s L.E. Taser Distributor to do the follow-up. Just as soon as he hung up the phone, John called everyone he could at the Department of Corrections to confirm his suspicions. As he suspected, no one from Corrections had officially inquired and/or purchased from Taser.
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John then contacted Stacie at Taser. He repeated everything he was told by Visiniti and strongly impressed his findings as to Corrections not placing such and order nor ever wishing to. John continued to press Stacie and inquired as to whom at Taser actually made the sale. Stacie confirmed that it was she who received the Letterhead request back on April 4, 2002 and took the credit card number provided as payment. When John continued to protect her actions, she replied “Jesus, John, it’s only a stun gun.” As you can imagine, John went ballistic. He explained that since Stacie had shipped the unit and cartridges, several Check Cashing Services had been held up by felons armed with a “gun-like Taser” and that her shipping the weapon without checking with him first was tantamount to a criminal act. John convinced her to fax him copies of everything that the purchaser/imposter had provided, and John went to work.
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His first call was to his friend the Captain and asked him for a direct contact at the Department’s Criminal Investigations Division. There John talked to Detective Mike C. and told him what had transpired as well as faxing him all the purchase paperwork. Mike said he’d call back in a half hour. John called FedEx and confirmed that the package Stacie shipped out was delivered to a building in Brooklyn. Mike called back and confirmed that no one with Aaron Javaherian ever worked for the city and that the letterhead used was in fact a forgery containing a bogus agency name as well as a bogus address and listed a bogus commissioner’s name. The strange part was that the purchaser had not used his own credit card for the purchase and even informed Stacie that it wasn’t his. Yet she still shipped it. Shows just how desperate Taser was to make sales, even if they were illegal. Tasers are restricted to law enforcement agencies only in New York.
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The Corrections Criminal Investigations Division and the Detectives who handled the case did an exemplary job in unraveling the mess that Stacie started. They caught and arrested the guy; a teenager, who had big plans for the M26 on the streets of Brooklyn.
John called Stacie that he had taken care of everything and made the “problem” go away.
He told her to tell Rick Smith that better procedures needed to be put in place at Taser so that such events never happen again. Sorry to say, but that would not be the case.
Several more incidents would filter through the grapevine that was the L.E. Distributor network. John knew that Taser was aware of the activities but also knew that the only thing they were concerned about was the bottom line and not whether civilians had easy access to restricted weapons. In September of 2002, the Detectives of the NYDC recovered the Taser and apprehended Javaherian.

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