Indiana officer uses stun gun on 10-year-old

Boy uninjured after cop uses force to subdue him. Martinsville police department plans an internal review

Published April 1, 2010 5:08PM (EDT)

One officer called to a home day care to help control an unruly 10-year-old used a stun gun on the boy and another slapped him in the face when he wouldn't listen to them, a central Indiana chief police said Thursday.

The child suffered no significant injuries. Both officers have been placed on administrative duty while the Tuesday confrontation is being investigated.

Martinsville Police Chief Jon Davis said he believed the two officers could have restrained the 94-pound boy without using force. Davis said the Morgan County Sheriff's Department was investigating and an internal review was planned on the officer's use of the stun gun.

"We need to look at it a lot closer because it's not really made for 10-year-olds," he said at a news conference.

Assistant Police Chief Dan Riffel said he spoke with the boy and his mother on Wednesday and that the boy's only injuries were marks on his upper arm where he was shocked by the stun gun. Officials declined to identify the child.

The officers arrived at the house to find the boy out of control, hitting and kicking his caretakers, according to police. He also wouldn't obey the officers before they used force, they said.

Davis said the confrontation occurred on the porch of the house while other children were inside. Police had been called to the day care once before in recent months about the same child, he said.

The chief said Officer Darren Johnson, who has been with the department almost three years, used the stun gun, while Capt. William Jennings, a 36-year veteran, slapped the child.

The officers couldn't immediately be located for comment; they didn't attend the news conference and no home telephone numbers were listed in their names. The Associated Press sent messages to their Police Department e-mail addresses.

A woman who answered the door Thursday at the home day care declined to comment.

Mayor Phil Deckard said officials in the 12,000-person city about 25 miles southwest of Indianapolis wouldn't tolerate unnecessary force by police officers.

"We also have to look at officer safety and what prompted that, and that's the purpose of our internal investigation," he said.

By Carly Everson

MORE FROM Carly Everson

Related Topics ------------------------------------------