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Man Tasered, Pepper Sprayed During DUI Stop, Police Say

After pepper spray had no effect, police said the man had to be tasered three times before he could be taken into custody in a Feb. 2 incident on Swamp Pike.

A Pottstown man was charged with DUI and other offenses after a Feb. 2 incident on Swamp Pike in which he resisted arrest, according to Limerick Township Police.

Police say Barry Grant Berger, 62, was traveling through an area on Swamp Pike near the intersection of Fruitville Road where police were directing traffic past the scene of an earlier one-car crash that had closed one lane of the roadway.

Upon encountering Berger, Officer Kevin McGuigan determined that he had been drinking and asked him to put his 2000 Nissan Pathfinder in park, which, according to a police incident report, he had to do five times before Berger complied.

Berger then allegedly refused to exit the vehicle for field sobriety tests and attempted to restart his vehicle. According to the incident report, Officers John Kehoe and Timothy DiGregorio joined McGuigan and repeated numerous instructions to Berger to stop resisting and to exit the vehicle, informing him that he was under arrest for DUI.

When Berger, who is listed in the incident report at 6 feet, 6 inches tall with a weight of 245 pounds, continued to resist, DiGregorio warned him that he would be pepper sprayed. Berger continued to resist, police said, and DiGregorio used the pepper spray.

"This appeared to have negligible effects on the driver," Kehoe wrote in his report.

At this point, Berger allegedly grabbed an open mason jar filled with whiskey that was inside his vehicle and threw the whiskey at Kehoe, who was reaching into the vehicle from the passenger side and attempting to remove Berger's hands from the steering wheel. He then allegedly resumed attempts to restart the vehicle.

According to Kehoe's report, he used his Taser on Berger twice, in the right shoulder and right thigh, with no effect. He then tasered Berger's right hand, which was on the steering wheel, causing Berger to release his grip.

Berger was then "tackled to the pavement" by the officers and placed in handcuffs, at point Berger allegedly began to shout, "This isn't even a legal DUI checkpoint you guys made here."

Trappe Ambulance attempted to treat Berger at the scene for exposure to the pepper spray and the Taser, but he declined treatment and was taken to Pottstown Memorial Medical Center.

According to court records, Berger has been charged with DUI, resisting arrest, and two counts of disorderly conduct. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Walter Gadzicki on March 20.

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