Deputy indicted for tasering suspect who fired on police PINELLAS COUNTY – A Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy who chose to taser a suspect that shot at him and another deputy instead of using deadly force was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly using excessive force. Deputy Richard Farnham was on special volunteer assignment in the Florida Panhandle after Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 when the incident occurred. Despite the fact that one of the suspects allegedly fired a handgun at Farnham and a Santa Rosa County deputy while on patrol in Navarre Beach, the jury sitting in the Northern District of Florida’s Pensacola Division agreed that Farnham used excessive force by using a Taser gun on one of two armed suspects who had allegedly fired their guns at the deputies. Farnham, authorities said, actually had the right to shoot back, but chose instead not to use a life-threatening means to subdue the gunman. Farnham, who was to surrender in Santa Rosa County this week, is on administrative paid leave. The indictment has caused an uproar in the law enforcement community. “We are concerned and disappointed about these allegations, but will continue to cooperate in this process,” Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats said.