Monterey County

Monterey Police investigating use of Taser on teen at County Fair

Monterey Police: Officer forced to use a TASER on teen at fair.

MONTEREY, Calif. - The Monterey Police Department is investigating an incident in which an officer deployed his stun gun on a teenager at the Monterey County Fair Saturday night.

Around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, officers assigned to work the fair were flagged down by a carnival employee regarding a fight between two girls.

The witness told officers Kristofer Richardson and Wayland Kopp that both females were being restrained by others when he arrived in the area and they were led out of the area in different directions.

The witness pointed out one of the females, later identified as a 16-year old. According to the officers, the teenager was immediately aggressive toward them as they approached her.  

Richardson took out his stun gun and ordered her to the ground, but did not discharge it at that time, Lt. Leslie Sonne said.  Meanwhile, Kopp moved behind the girl and took her to the ground.

While Kopp was trying to control the 16-year-old, a 14-year-old girl jumped on his back. Richardson discharged his Taser, hitting the younger girl in the torso.

As Kopp continued struggling with both girls on the ground, the 16-year old began clawing and biting at the 14-year old. As Kopp was working to separate the girls, the older teen bit his knee. Both girls were taken into custody.

A witness described the 16-year old as "looking for trouble" and told police  she was seen pushing people in the crowd and challenging them to fight.

Another witness saw part of the situation and described one of the girls as trying to punch the officers, said Sonne. He described the scene as very chaotic and hostile and indicated that there were approximately 2,000 people in the area. He said heard people yelling expletives about the police and egging the teens on.

The 14-year-old was examined and released at a local hospital. She was cited for battery on an officer, resisting arrest and being in possession of a prescription drug unlawfully, marijuana and pepper spray.

The other teen faces charges of battery on an officer and resisting arrest.

Sonne said the use of force will be investigated according to protocol and forwarded to the police chief for review.

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