Teen tased in Sunday incident

August 31, 2009 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

*published Aug. 31, 2009

Episode involves police officers investigating a robbery complaint and a mentally handicapped boy.
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

An altercation involving Lake Charles police officers and a 14-year-old mentally disabled boy resulted in the boy being tased and arrested.

The incident occurred near Knapp and North Prater streets in north Lake Charles on Sunday afternoon as officers had stopped another juvenile during an investigation of a robbery, according to authorities.

“The young man (the robbery victim) said another juvenile approached him, struck him and took his bicycle,” said Sgt. Mark Kraus. “The victim gave the officer a description of the bike and the suspect’s clothing.”

Kraus said the officer stopped a 14-year-old boy near Knapp and N. Prater streets who was wearing clothing fitting that description.

“While two officers detained the juvenile, they heard someone screaming and turned to see another person coming towards them attempting to attack them,” Kraus said. “This person fell on the suspect, and when officers tried to pull him off, he attacked the officers, cutting one’s lip and biting the other on the arm.”

Kraus said the officer tased the individual to stop him from biting.

A woman at the scene identified the robbery suspect and alleged attacker as her twin sons. She said the attacker is mentally disabled and that her daughter tried telling the officer this and saying not to use the Taser on him.

She said that officers should have spoken to people at the scene instead of using what she considered unnecessary force on the boy.

“There were about 10 police cars here, and none of the officers would fully tell me what was going on,” she said.

Kraus said the officer did not recall hearing being told about the juvenile’s condition, saying everything happened very quickly.

“At that point, the officer did not know the person’s age or mental condition,” Kraus said.

Kraus said the suspect in the bicycle case has been charged with robbery and was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center. The young man who was tased was taken to a hospital for evaluation and faces charges of interfering with an investigation and two counts of battery on a police officer.

“We expect our officers to defend themselves,” Kraus said. “When someone, juvenile or otherwise, injures them, we expect them to defend themselves.”

link:http://bit.ly/hqqz8

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