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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

11-year-old mentally disabled girl Tased by an Orange County sheriff’s deputy.

A court date for the 11-year-old mentally disabled girl Tased by an Orange County sheriff’s deputy.

Acording to the East Orlando Sun, A court date for the 11-year-old girl who was tased by an Orange County sheriff’s deputy has been set for Sept. 17. The girl was arrested on March 27 after a scuffle at Moss Park Elementary School, where she attended the fourth grade. She was charged with battery against a lawenforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and resisting arrest without violence. If found guilty, the girl could face sanctions such as a boot camp-type program or juvenile detention up to the age of 21.

The East Orlando Sun does not publish the names of juveniles. Orange County Sheriff’s Office reported that school resource officer Deputy Donna Hudepohl, who used her Taser after the girl hit her in the nose, followed agency policy and did everything possible to avoid using the weapon. “Even after she was punched she tried to secure the student but could not,” said OCSO spokeswoman Susan Soto.

“A lot of people questioned tasing an 11-year-old, but when you have someone stand up in front of you, your size or bigger, you no longer see age. [Hudepohl] is on patrol, she is doing her job. She did nothing wrong according to policy.” But the student’s attorney, Mark Lippman, said the girl is mentally disabled (with a lower-than-average IQ) and accidentally hit the officer. Since the incident the girl has not attended Moss Park and has experienced lasting trauma from the incident, he said, including not being able to sleep in her bedroom alone.

“This is a sad situation,” Lippman said. “We are expecting that the case will be dropped before trial or we will get a not guilty.” According to the police report, on the morning of the incident the girl pushed another student into oncoming traffic before school started. The girl ignored several orders to report to the principal’s office and reportedly spat on one teacher three times and threw her things out of her desk. The teacher called Hudepohl, the school’s resource officer, who also asked the girl to come with her to the principal’s office.

The report stated that the girl hit Hudepohl in the nose, after which the deputy tried to secure the victim into handcuffs. According to OCSO, Hudepohl had one hand secured but the girl was “wailing” her other hand at the deputy, who finally had to subdue her with a Taser gun. A Taser is an electroshock weapon that causes a subject to be incapacitated. Hudepohl and the girl were taken to the hospital. Hudepohl was treated for a bloody nose, but the police report classified her injury as minor. More HERE

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