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Man may face charges in stun gun theft

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Mike Heine
January 23, 2008

A town of Waukesha man suspected of stealing an East Troy police officer’s Taser stun gun and later posting a video of himself and his father zapping each other may face charges in Walworth County.


East Troy Police Chief Alan Boyes said his department referred charges of disarming a peace officer, theft, possession of an electronic weapon, endangering safety and carrying a concealed weapon against the 22-year-old suspect.


District Attorney Phil Koss was not available for comment.


The man, a twice-convicted felon for stealing a car, allegedly took the Taser early morning on New Year’s Day when he was seated in the back of a squad car after his own car slid off the road during snowy conditions. The stun gun was in a briefcase on the front seat.


The officer was helping other passengers at the scene, on Highway 20 near County L.


“He was not in custody and not under arrest,” Boyes said. “He reached up from under the screen and took the Taser.”


The officer noticed it was gone shortly after he dropped the man and his passengers off at a gas station so they could wait for a ride.


Police had the name and address of the suspect, and the Taser was recovered less than two days later. That was enough time for the suspect and his father to allegedly “tase” each other and post a video of it on YouTube.com, an interactive video-sharing Web site.


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the video showed up hours after the Taser was taken. YouTube took it down, and police would not release the video because the case still is under investigation.


The suspect has not been charged anywhere. Boyes said authorities in Waukesha County still are investigating other crimes that might have been committed there.


East Troy police no longer are allowed to carry Taser guns in briefcases.


“If they do carry them, they have to be in a holster on their belts,” Boyes said of the new policy.


Nothing else was missing from the squad, Boyes said.


Boyes was surprised the suspect and his father allegedly were shocking each other. The weapons give off a 50,000-volt charge, he said.


“Apparently it’s like nothing else,” said Boyes, who has never been shocked himself.


“You have a person essentially using this as a toy, and they are not a toy.”



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