Why a Pueblo Sheriff Tasered a 10-Year-Old Boy

December 4 2009, 10:41 AM

The Pueblo County Sheriff's Department is defending its use of a Taser stun gun on an "out of control" 10-year-old boy prior to his arrest Monday after he damaged property and threatened his foster father, Daniel Biby, with a pipe and a stick. The unnamed boy, who has a violent history and record of running away, had run off to a neighbor's home and was cornered by a fence, between a camper trailer and pontoon boat. When the boy refused to drop the pipe, deputy Mark Myers fired his Taser, writes The Pueblo Chieftain. The boy was booked on suspicion of menacing with a deadly weapon. Sheriff's policy discourages the use of Tasers on youths and the elderly, "except in the most extreme situations." But Sheriff Kirk Taylor defended the usage yesterday in a press conference: "We get no joy in doing what had to be done. My officers feel pretty bad, but they acted appropriately." The boy was not harmed, but Tasers have a reputation of being dangerous and occasionally killing people. As the Salt Lake Tribune notes in an editorial this week, about 350 Americans have died as a result of Tasers since 2001.