From the Middletown Police Department
(as read by Lt. Heather Desmond)
Earlier today Acting Chief Patrick McMahon met with Dr. Frechette to discuss the incident that occurred last Friday, September 3, 2010 where a 17-year-old student was arrested for Interfering with an Officer, Breach of Peace 2nd and Larceny 6th.
During the arrest, the 17-year-old student was “drive stunned” with a Taser when he became physically combative with school staff and then the School Resource Officer. A “drive stun” is when the probes of the Taser are not utilized, and the device is used in a contact mode to gain compliance from a suspect who is actively resisting the police.
During the meeting the School Resource Officer program was discussed and all agreed that they want to see the program continue to succeed in all three of the Middletown Schools where a School Resource Officer is currently assigned. Part of that success is ongoing training with the school staff and school resource officers so that all are aware of their rolls and responsibilities. The three schools where officers are currently assigned are the Middletown High School, Woodrow Wilson and Keigwin.
Again I would like to clarify that the use of the Taser was in response to the student becoming physically combative with the School Resource Officer. A second School Resource Officer deployed the Taser in coming to the aide of his partner who was struggling with the student. In no way was the use of the Taser deployed in response to the alleged theft of food.
A review of the incident is on going, and Acting Chief McMahon would like to reiterate that to this point, the use of the Taser was appropriate under the Grahmn VS. Connor Standard as well as the department’s policies and procedures.
Both Acting Chief McMahon and Dr. Frechette have agreed to ongoing meetings in the weeks ahead to ensure that expectations of students, police and the school staff are clearly outlined.