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Charges dropped against elderly Grant man

Published: Sep. 11, 2013 at 8:02 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 9, 2013 at 8:03 PM CDT
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GRANT, AL (WAFF) - Charges against an elderly Grant man who was pepper-sprayed while handcuffed by police have been dropped.

89-year-old Woney Key was charged with several traffic violations after he failed to pull over for a traffic stop back in July.

Officials said he kept driving until he reached his home on Winkles Road. Neighbors stepped in after they saw Key being handcuffed and pepper-sprayed and told the officer he had dementia.

Grant officials said they elected to drop the charges after learning of Key's mental condition. They also said while it is unfortunate that pepper spray was used in such a situation, the officer had a right to defend himself after Key took a swing at him.

"The officer had a right to protect himself," said Mayor Larry Walker. "Three times he told [Key] to turn around and place hands up on the car so he could check and see if he had a weapon. He refused that. We feel the officer acted properly. He chose the best means to handle the situation."

City officials said the officer involved in the incident has since retired, though not in relation to the case.

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