SANTA FE, N.M. -- A New Mexico state police officer used his Taser to stun a 10-year-old schoolboy who refused to clean his patrol car, according to a lawsuit filed in Santa Fe County Court by the boy's family.
During a career day program at Tularosa Intermediate School in May, Officer Christopher Webb of the state Department of Public Safety pointed the stun gun at the boy and said, "Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police," according to the lawsuit filed last week.
Webb said his stun gun went off by accident, sending two barbs carrying 50,000 volts of electricity for five seconds through the boy’s clothing and piercing his chest, the Albuquerque Journal reported, quoting court documents. The jolt caused the boy to black out, the suit said.
Rachel Higgins, attorney for the boy who weighs less than 100 pounds and is referred to in the lawsuit by only his initials, told the court he has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, waking in the middle of the night clutching his chest in fear since the incident. He has scars the size of cigarette burns, she said in court papers.
The boy was only joking about not wanting to clean the patrol car when Webb asked a group of boys if they would, according to court documents.
Webb, named in the suit along with the Department of Public Safety, received a three-day, unpaid suspension after the incident, the Journal reported.
Webb said in court documents he took the boy to the school nurse’s office and waited with him there until the student’s mother arrived.
The boy's family is seeking compensation and punitive damages, the Journal reported.
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