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Naked 'King of the World' Tased 3 Times

By Jason Beahm on January 20, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

"It's good to be king, if just for a while. To be there in velvet, yeah, to give 'em a smile. It's good to get high, and never come down. It's good to be king, of your own little town." -Tom Petty

Of course Tom Petty skipped the verse about running naked into traffic at 1:30 a.m. and getting tased three times. However the song was written in 1994 and a lot has changed since then. But that's just what happened to Richard Gervasi, a tourist who ran nude into traffic in Key West, Florida and shouted that he was "king of the world."

Police promptly tased Gervasi, of Phoenixville, Pa., who, said that he was "made of steel," and pulled out the taser prongs from his body. Monroe County Sheriff's Office Deputy Danielle Malone hit him with the taser again. Again the would-be king got up.

A third tase finally took him down. Gervasi was with two of his friends on vacation in Key West, the New York Daily News reports.

It turns out that the naked king of the world was reportedly drinking heavily as well as under the influence of LSD or acid. That would certainly explain a lot. He has been charged with disturbing the peace and resisting arrest, which, under the circumstances, seems rather kind.

We've reported a number of troubling cases where police have used tasers in questionable circumstances. Police departments have faced lawsuits over excessive use of force by taser. Cases like these illustrate that sometimes a taser is an excellent tool in the police officers arsenal. Otherwise, Gervasi might have had his Florida vacation ended with a bullet.

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