Colwyn cop under investigation for Tasering teen

Posted: May 01, 2012

A member of the Colwyn Police Department is under investigation for repeatedly Tasering a juvenile while the boy was in a holding cell last week, according to borough officials and sources.

The 17-year-old boy was allegedly arrested for fighting on April 24, charged with disorderly conduct and placed in a holding cell, according to sources. The officer allegedly Tasered the boy up to nine times, sources said, for reasons that are still unclear. The juvenile was allegedly Tasered once in the head and may have been handcuffed, sources said.

Officials declined to confirm the identity of the officer who is under investigation. Deputy Chief Wendell Reed said there is “somewhat of an investigation going on” and he’s “been working on it for a minute.”

“The investigation involves an officer involved with a juvenile, yes,” Wendell said. “The juvenile is fine, there is no issues, no problems. It’s just more of a matter of procedure than it is the incident itself.”

Colwyn Mayor Daniel Rutland seemed far more concerned about the matter.

“I can tell you right now suspensions are going to be coming,” he said. “More than one will be coming.”

He declined to say why more than one officer may be suspended for the incident, but he did say he is looking into allegations of a cover up or, at the very least, that the proper protocols were not followed.

Rutland said he was not informed of the incident until four days after it occurred, and that was only after he began receiving anonymous calls about it and started asking questions on his own.

“That’s how I found out about it,” he said. “I basically had to ask.”

While Reed said the officer in question will be on desk duty while the investigation is ongoing, Rutland said the borough doesn’t have desk duty and the officer would be off the schedule until the investigation is complete.

Reed is heading the department while Chief Bryan Hills remains out because of an ongoing legal battle with borough council. Hills was fired in 2009 for issues including a dispute over the amount of overtime used by police, but last year an arbitrator determined he should get his job back. However, borough council continues to fight the decision.

Reach Stephanie Farr at farrs@phillynews.com or 215-854-4225. You can also follow her on Twitter @FarFarrAway and read her blog “Daily Delco” at www.philly.com/dailydelco.

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