A lawsuit filed on behalf of a 10-year-old Santa Fe boy claims a local police officer fired a 50,000-volt Taser at the kid after he jokingly refused the cop’s request to clean his car.
On May 4th, Officer Chris Webb of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety and Motor Transportation was visiting Tularosa New Mexico Intermediate School for “career day,” where he spoke to groups of students about gun and taser safety.
During a demonstration of a Taser X26, Webb reportedly asked students “who would like to clean his patrol unit.”
One of students, identified as R.D. in court documents, jokingly refused, to which Webb allegedly replied, “Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.”
The officer then shot two barbs directly into the boy’s chest, “causing the device to deliver 50,000 volts into the boy’s body.” R.D. quickly fell to the ground and blacked out.
The lawsuit claims Webb did not radio for emergency services, choosing instead to lead the boy into the school’s bathroom “to help clean him up.” Webb personally removed the barbs from the boy’s chest, leaving behind “cigarette burn” scars.
For his part, Webb told superiors he accidentally reinserted the taser cartridge into the weapon after an initial demonstration, and forgot to remove it for the second demonstration.
Webb claims R.D.’s mother “wasn’t mad at what had happened,” but the lawsuit says the boy is showing signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and “has woken up in the middle of the night holding his chest afraid he is never going to wake up again.”
The DPS suspended Webb for three days, and no further action was taken.
The civil suit is seeking punitive damages of an unspecified amount.