(SAN DIEGO) — Cell phone video allegedly shows a sheriff’s deputy using a Taser against a teenager in San Diego County.
The deputy appears to pin the teen, 13, to the ground while a friend recorded the incident on Saturday afternoon on Mission Road in Fallbrook, California.
The video allegedly shows the youth writhing on the ground and screaming in pain as the deputy used the Taser.
San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said in a news conference on Monday that the deputy recognized the juvenile from a photograph supplied by his mother, who had reported him as being a runaway. It was the fifth time he had run away from home, Gore said.
“I think it’s been portrayed — in what I’ve seen some of the clips — that we had an out-of-control deputy. The deputy was very conscientious in this case,” Gore said. “He immediately followed up the lead. He tried repeatedly to get the juvenile to voluntarily go in the car so he could return to his mother. In actuality, what we really have is an out-of-control juvenile who could have prevented this whole ordeal just by obeying the commands of the deputy and get in the car so he could be returned home.”
When the deputy approached the juvenile, he “repeatedly” asked him to get in his car, Gore said, but says the request was “ignored.” The boy has not been publicly identified by police.
“And when the deputy asked him to turn around so he could be placed in handcuffs to be put in the back of the patrol car to return to his mother, that’s when the juvenile resisted and the scuffle ensued,” Gore said.
Liandro Cardenas, a friend of the boy, told ABC News affiliate KGTV-TV in San Diego that the two were walking to a nearby KFC restaurant to get some water when the deputy called out to the boy by name. Cardenas said his friend had run away, but was planning to return home Saturday, KGTV reported. One witness, Jonathan Daza, who captured the scene on his cell phone, told KGTV, “I was kind of shocked. I’d never seen this ever in my life. I didn’t know what to do, so I just kind of pulled out my camera and tried to keep it low because I was kind of afraid in a way.” Daza did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.
“In an attempt to take control of the juvenile,” the deputy “put his arm around him” and the pair ended up on the ground, Gore said. The office did not have the youth in a chokehold or carotid restraint, Gore said.
“In fact, if it had been a chokehold or carotid restraint, the juvenile would have been unable to bite our deputy, which he did while they were on the ground, leaving significant bike marks, which I have photographs of that I will make available to all of you,” Gore said.
Gore said the juvenile was taken to Temecula Valley Hospital for a medical examination, in accordance with a Sheriff’s Department’s policy after a Taser is deployed, and he was released. The bite marks on the deputy’s forearm were also examined, Gore said.
“We notified the mother that her son had been arrested,” Gore said. “She was greatly relieved that he had been found and apologized for his behavior.”
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