Device turns cell phone into stun gun

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The creators call it disruptive technology, two devices not typically related, brought together.  A protective case for your cell phone while protecting you with a working stun gun.

The creators of the Yellow Jacket say it provides 650,000 volts of protection.

When you consider the FBI's violent crime statistics for 2011,  more than 14,600 people in the U-S were murdered, 44% in the south. More than 83,400 were raped, 354,000 were reportedly robbed and more than 751,000 were victims of an aggravated assault.

It was a home invasion that inspired the creators.  

"The only item usually at arms reach is your smart phone so in a true emergency this is designed to protect you," said Yellow Jacket inventor Seth Froom.  

Emily Apoldo believes this device could have protected her when she was mugged last semester near Five Points.

"For cases like getting mugged, It would have been very handy when I got mugged last semester to have it, so scare them off," she said.

"No one would ever think that your cell phone would be a taser so they could come up and you can just hit them with it and run, or call for help or do both," said student Quana Izzard.

That's exactly how those who teach self defense classes say something like this should be used.

"It's enough to get someone's attention," said self-defense instructor Brian Sweat. "Nobody wants to get popped by that. I don't. I'm a big guy and I don't want to get hit by that."

It's got a safety, but self defense trainers think it should involve training.

"The kids go through training to get their driver's license," said Sweat. Same thing needs to be with something like this."  

There's an age requirement for purchase 18 and up.  It's certainly not a toy. It comes with a warning cautioning of severe injury and death.  That's what concerns law enforcement.

"It's just like almost a firearm," said Captain Terrence with the Sumter County Sheriff's Department.

"It's kind of a neat little device," said Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews.  "I can see great benefits and I can also see a high potential for abuse."

Abuse that might happen in a drunken night.

"A drunken adult somewhere and they're playing a game with it, somebody standing on top of a vehicle at some point and someone hits them in the calf, it may shock them enough where that person may fall from an elevated position then you're talking about some serious injuries," said Terrence.

Police go through extensive training to use their Tasers, and even then, situations escalate.

"If you're attacked by a suspect or some type of assailant and you end up using it on them and then perhaps that person is drugged up," said Terrence. "Most of the time law enforcement wise when we end up using some type of less lethal force on an individual if that person is high on some type of drug, then that's a situation we end up escalating."

"There's got to be rules with it," said Sweat. "You have to practice safe with it."

So would you need a concealed weapons permit?  Not in South Carolina.

You do need to know the law, however. USC doesn't allow stun guns on their campus.  Law enforcement worries they could be the target or the bad guys could turn the tables, if they buy one.  

"It is because it could actually be used against law enforcement officer and not only a law enforcement officer it can be used in an attack," said Terrence.  "The attacker may have this device also."

Still, many think it might offer them the protection they've been looking for.

"I think that it's very helpful, very convenient, because if you're just walking, I'm walking with my phone in my hand all the time, some one runs up on you, buzz -  so I think it's very convenient."

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