Police officer who tasered driver after random breath test found guilty

A West Australian policeman who tasered a driver during a scuffle after a random breath test has been found guilty of two counts of assault.

The incident in the Perth suburb of Fremantle in March 2017 was largely captured on video by a rear-seat passenger of James Bartlett, who appeared annoyed after he had a yellow sticker defect notice placed on his Jeep for a non-compliant light bar on the roof and oversized wheels.

Mr Bartlett said words to a junior officer along the lines of, "you're so poor, you couldn't afford my vehicle", which prompted Senior Constable Grantley Keenan to walk towards the car to "have words".

Senior Constable Grantley Keenan during the tasering incident in Fremantle in 2017. Source: 7 News

Keenan testified during his Perth Magistrates Court trial that as he approached, Mr Bartlett flashed the light bar, which caused "temporary flash blindness".

As Mr Bartlett started to drive off, Keenan stopped the car, claiming he was concerned for his junior colleague, who was in the car's path.

Keenan opened the driver's side door and reached in to remove the keys, which Mr Bartlett prevented by clamping his hand down.

Keenan claimed he feared he would be dragged under the "monster" tyres if the vehicle started to move again so he warned the driver he was about to be tasered before deploying the device.

The Corruption and Crime Commission last year formed an opinion of serious misconduct, saying Keenan's actions were unlawful, unreasonable and oppressive.

He was stood aside from operational duties after he was charged.

Keenan was convicted by a magistrate on Wednesday and will face a sentencing hearing on June 10.

He did not comment as he left court.

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