A Herts Police officer pointed a taser at an 82-year-old, arrested him and kept him in a cell overnight – before all accusations were dropped the next day.

The force have come under fire for their handling of a situation in New Road, near Croxley Green Station, which saw an argument break out over parking on Thursday, May 30.

Stanley Long, who lives in flats by a car park reserved for residents, said he warned a man he would block him in if he didn’t move, which led to the cars lightly colliding and police being called.

The pensioner said officers arrived but only spoke to the other man, who claimed Mr Long had a knife, before a female officer drew her weapon.

“She got her taser out and said ‘on you’re knees put your hands up’,” he told the Watford Observer. “I said ‘no, no what’s this all about’, and all the people that live here started shouting ‘don’t shoot him he’s 82 years old and he’s got a heart problem’.”

Mr Long continued: “If I had a weaker heart I could have dropped down dead. I’ve looked there and a girl is pointing a taser at you – you think ‘hold on she’s watching cowboy films’.”

The pensioner said he was put in cuffs and taken to a police station before spending the night in a cell.

Then around 2pm he was interviewed, following which police “apologised and said we’re typing a letter out right now, you’re free to go and no charges are going to be brought against you”, he claimed.

Mr Long, a former soldier who has lived in Croxley Green for 15 years, questioned why officers didn’t ask for his side before arresting him, as well as the proportionality of being held overnight without evidence of wrongdoing.

A Herts Police spokesperson said: “Police were called at around 7.32pm on Thursday 30 May to report that a man in possession of a bladed article had threatened a victim with a knife and made threats to kill.

“Officers attended the scene at an address in New Road, Croxley Green, and one drew their taser device. This is normal protocol in these situations based on the information that had been passed to them, which was that a suspect was armed with a knife.

“We can confirm that the officer did not fully activate the taser device, as the situation diffused.

“He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a bladed article in a public place, common assault, and criminal damage. He was then taken to police custody.

“He was released without charge the following day (Friday 31 May).”