A police officer used his Taser gun on a 10-year-old boy during “career day” at Tularosa New Mexico Intermediate School.
The child had jokingly refused to clean Officer Chris Webb’s patrol car, and Webb responded by taking out his Taser and saying, “Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.” Webb then allegedly fired two barbs at the child, sending 50,000 volts of electricity into his chest and causing the boy to black out.
Instead of calling emergency personnel, Webb pulled the barbs out and took the child to the principal’s office. The boy, R.D., now has scars that were described as resembling cigarette burns.
“No reasonable officer confronting a situation where the need for force is at its lowest, on a playground with elementary age children, would have deployed the Taser in so reckless a manner as to cause physical and psychological injury,” the boy’s guardian ad litem Rachel Higgins said.
A representative for R.D. said he has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since the May 4 incident. Higgins said the child “has woken up in the middle of the night holding his chest, afraid he is never going to wake up again.”
A complaint was filed against Webb and the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, and both are now being sued by Higgins on the child’s behalf. Higgins is seeking punitive damages for battery, failure to render emergency medical care, unreasonable seizure, excessive force, and negligent hiring, training, supervision, and retention.