David Edwards and Diane Sweet
July 27, 2008
KY 3 News’ Sara Sheffield reports on an injured teen from Ozark, Missouri who was tasered up to 19 times by police.
Passing motorists called Ozark police out of concern for the teen as he walked along the busy overpass. When the police arrived, the young man was lying on the shoulder of the highway directly underneath the 30 foot high overpass with a broken back and foot.
Doctors believe 16-year-old Mace Hutchinson broke his back and heel after falling, as his injuries are consistent with such a fall. The boy’s family does not understand why police would have tasered the the teen 19 times after he was so seriously injured.
The teen’s father said that the use of the taser caused Mace to develop an elevated white blood cell count, leading to a fever that delayed the young man’s otherwise immediate surgery by two days.
Ozark Police Capt. Thomas Rousset attempted to explain why the taser was used:
"He refused to comply with the officers and so the officers had to deploy their Tasers in order to subdue him. He is making incoherent statements; he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers."
Ozark police say that while there remains unanswered questions in the case, the reason for the use of the Taser is not one of them.
This video is from KY3 News, broadcast July 24, 2008.