BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A teenager was tasered by a Baltimore City officer and fell off the roof.
Derek Valcourt explains the moments leading up to the 16-year-old’s fall.
That teen had climbed out onto the roof of his home trying to run from police. Internal Affairs is now investigating why an officer tased the unarmed 16-year-old.
Tasers are designed to help police subdue suspects threatening harm to officers or anyone else. A teen found himself on the receiving end of disabling volts of electricity. It happened Tuesday morning in the 4400-block of Wrenwood Avenue. As the City Warrant Apprehension Task Force came looking for the teen who had violated the GPS home monitoring punishment he received for a handgun violation, police say their officers were given permission to enter the home by the boy’s mother. But as detectives went upstairs to find the boy, he tried to run away.
“He ended up going outside to the roof of the house. A confrontation between a detective and the suspect ensued and the detective was compelled to fire his taser. As a result, because he was on the roof, the suspect fell to the ground and suffered some severe neck and back injuries,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police spokesperson.
Police say their officers are allowed to use tasers when someone is unruly, noncompliant or has the potential to cause a risk to the public, the police officer or themselves. Including accidental discharges, officers fired their tasers 146 times in 2010. A police spokesman says their Internal Affairs unit is investigating to determine if this was a case of excessive force.
“What Internal Affairs needs to do now is talk to the officer, talk to the suspect, figure out what type of confrontation ensued, why, and why was the officer compelled to use the taser,” Guglielmi said.
The teenager’s name is not being released because he’s a juvenile. He was transported to Sinai Hospital for treatment, but then taken to another hospital, where he underwent major back surgery.
His condition right now is unknown.