According to a lawsuit filed this week, a ten-year-old boy identified as “R.D.” was shot with a Taser after refusing to wash a cop’s car in New Mexico.
Motor Transportation Officer Chris Webb says the Tasing was an accident and that he believed his weapon was not loaded.
According to Courthouse News, the incident happened during Webb’s presentation at Career Day at Tularosa New Mexico Intermediate School in May. Reportedly, the officer asked a group of boys if they wanted to wash his patrol car. When R.D. refused, the officer allegedly pointed his Taser at the boy and said, “Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.”
Then R.D., who weighs about 100 pounds, was hit in the chest with two barbs and 50,000 volts of electricity. The boy temporarily lost consciousness and was scarred by the Taser’s barbs.
The officer removed the barbs, which left marks that “looked like cigarette burns” on R.D.’s chest, the lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit claims Webb acted carelessly.
Rachel Higgins, who is filing the suit as a guardian ad litem on behalf of the boy, says that the incident has given the child post-traumatic stress and that he “has woken up in the middle of the night holding his chest, afraid he is never going to wake up again,” according to Courthouse News Service.
Higgins calls Webb’s actions irresponsible. “No reasonable officer,” the complaint states, “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.”
Webb claims he removed the Taser cartridge before showing the device to a group of kids earlier that day and forgot that he reloaded it before Tasing the boy.
Webb was suspended for three days without pay after the incident.
The lawsuit comes just days after a 3-year-old girl was accidentally Tased by a San Diego Police officer who was chasing an alleged parole violator.