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Burnsville Police's Camera Tech Captures Tense Incident

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) -- We're getting a dramatic look at a confrontation inside a Twin Cities police station that ended with a man getting Taserd and two officers keeping the situation under control.

"Drop that knife!  Hey!  Drop it!  Put that down!  Put that down," yelled Officer Dave Luchsinger with the Burnsville Police Department.

He had just finished preparing a police report when a suicidal man entered the police station. The man was cut on his neck and bleeding.

The situation lasted several seconds, but it seemed much longer as the confrontation escalated.

"Hey!  Stop!  Drop that knife," Officer Luchsinger yelled at one point after the man walked through the lobby doors.

He has been a cop six years but never experienced something this dramatic.

"I drew my gun thinking I need to shoot this guy to protect me," he said.

He called for backup help on his radio.

"I could tell the urgency in his voice," said Officer Brad Litke, who heard his partner's emergency call.  "I jumped up from my computer. Me and the Sergeant are both running to the lobby at the same time. And he asked me if I had my Taser on me, which I said, 'yea!'  And just got my gear on, and soon as we opened the door, I see the guy standing right in front of me."

Officer Litke pushed open the lobby door, but immediately, Officer Luchsinger yelled for him to get back.

Seconds later, Officer Litke pushed open the door again and shot the man with his Taser.

"Don't move!  Don't move," police yelled after the man went down.

The situation was over, but it's far from forgotten because of a small camera Officer Luchsinger wears.

"So we've got a recording of what we're doing, and what other people were doing," he said.

About two dozen Burnsville officers wear the cameras now. Police Chief Bob Hawkins calls them a 'game changer,' because if anyone questions an incident, they can just go to the tape.

Both officers received Awards of Honor recently from the Dakota County Chiefs of Police Association for how they handled the situation.

Eagan Police Chief James McDonald, who is also the president of the association, handed out the awards.

"Sometimes we have to do some difficult and challenging things, so it's good to be recognized for that," said Officer Luchsinger.

Both kept themselves from getting hurt and put an end to a frightening situation.

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