Hick Ass Police Tasering Kids

A Lake County sheriff’s deputy used a Taser on about 30 high school students Thursday morning during a career fair on the playground of Lake County High School in Leadville.

The Taser — a nonlethal weapon that administers an electric shock — was applied to the students’ legs, and some suffered burns of varying degrees. At least one student was treated for burns at the St. Vincent General Hospital emergency room in Leadville.

The hospital refused to comment on the number of students treated or the severity of the injuries.

Deputy John Ortega, who has been with the department since August 2008, was immediately suspended for one week without pay, Sheriff Ed Holte said.

District Attorney Mark Hurlbert dispatched investigators to the school to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

School principal Cathy Beck said the students were offered the chance to be Tasered.

“We (the administration) had no idea this was going on,” Beck said. “This is very unfortunate. I’m sorry the sheriff’s office thought that it was appropriate. We don’t think it was appropriate.”

Beck said she has the names of 30 students who were Tasered. “I’m hoping it’s not more,” she said. “I’m not sure where we’re going with this. We’re leaving it up to the district attorney’s office.”

Holte said students asked Ortega whether he would use the Taser on them, but he declined. But then the students told Ortega they were willing to sign release forms and Ortega “foolishly agreed,” Holte said. The video on Ortega’s Taser showed 19 students being stunned.

Mike McPhee: 303-954-1409 or mmcphee@denverpost.com

1 Comment

  1. I just blogged on this via original reporting, and have wondered why the aptly described “Hick Ass” has not been arrested as I private citizen would have. The DA can’t make an arrest, so what is going to happen? Is Deputy Dumbo going to get a citation to appear like with a traffic ticket?

    Leadville police, who are at odds with Lake Cty sheriff, might get involved. Hurlbert’s failed to issue a press release. Here’s my post. http://wp.me/pzqev-eK

    Like your blog. Just discovered it.


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