A San Diego County Deputy Sheriff is facing scrutiny after he was recorded on a cell phone video using his stun gun on an unarmed 13-year-old runaway boy.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the sheriff’s office is reviewing the incident, which happened Saturday evening in Fallbrook, California.
The video shows the unnamed deputy with his arms around the boy’s neck as they are both on the ground.
The person filming the video says, “he’s choking him out, look it, he’s choking him out.” The boy then screams out in pain and the person recording yells, “He’s Tazing him! What the f**k man!” Another bystander says, “he’s a kid,” and “you’re going to get sued.”
The deputy can then be seen pulling the boy to his feet and putting him into the back of his police car. The crowd continues to yell at the deputy, with someone saying “call a different police!”
A spokeswoman with the sheriff’s office told the Union-Tribune that the deputy used his Taser after the boy bit him on his hand during a struggle.
Spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said the boy’s mother reported he had been missing for about a day and a half. The deputy went to an area where the boy was known to hang out, and was found with a group of teens riding skateboards.
“He approached him, identified him, verified who he was and said he had to come with him,” Caldwell told the Union-Tribune. “The juvenile refused. As the situation unfolded, he became not only verbally assaultive but physically combative.”
Caldwell said the boy had his hands in his waist band and the deputy wasn’t sure if he had a knife or a gun, but no weapon was found.
“There were other juveniles and people in the area with skateboards and there was only one deputy,” Caldwell told the newspaper. “He needed to get the situation under control as quickly as he could.”
The boy was arrested on suspicion of felony assault on a peace officer and taken to Juvenile Hall, the newspaper reported. Paramedics were called to the scene and checked on both the boy and the officer.