Robert Penny, Tahirah Gittens: Port St. Lucie officers survive after lightning strikes near them

PORT ST LUCIE, Fla. - Two Port St Lucie police officers had a recent close encounter with lightning.

Thursday afternoon around 4 p-m officer Robert Penny and officer Tahirah Gittens were on the Saints Golf Course, investigating a domestic situation.

Police say that there was a lightning strike10 – 15 feet away from Officer Penny.  Officer Gittens was about 50 feet away from Officer Penny.

The lightning, according to the Port St. Lucie Police Department, caused Officer Penny to suffer hearing loss for approximately 45 minutes. He also reported feeling the energy of the lightning leaving his body through his fingertips. 

Both officer Penny and officer Gittens were taken to a local hospital for treatment. 

Officer Gittens was released from the hospital.  Officer Penny was transported to another area hospital for further testing and evaluation.  Officer Penny spent the night at the hospital while doctors monitored his condition.

Officer Penny told fellow officers that getting hit by the indirect lightning strike was the worst 'Tasing' he has ever experienced. 

The lightning strike caused the glue that binds the sole to the base of Penny's boots to melt to the officer's socks according to police. 

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