Calling it “an egregious case of abuse,” attorneys for a nonverbal teen with autism allege that he was surprised 17 occasions by a sheriff’s deputy whereas strolling down the highway in his pajamas. (Viorel Margineanu/Dreamstime/TNS)
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Attorneys for a teen with autism who was allegedly surprised with a stun gun 17 occasions by a former Pickens County sheriff’s deputy filed a civil lawsuit in opposition to the deputy and the Pickens County Sheriff’s Workplace final week.
A video offered by the Anastopoulo Legislation Agency exhibits an officer utilizing a stun gun on Aaron Vasquez, who’s nonverbal, on Aug. 20, 2021. The then-17-year-old fell to the bottom because the officer continued to stun him for about 5 minutes.
“It’s an egregious case of abuse,” mentioned legal professional Roy T. Willey IV throughout a information convention final week outdoors the Federal Courthouse in Greenville.
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Deputy James William Trotter was fired and is dealing with prices of second-degree assault and battery and misconduct in workplace, courtroom information present.
The legislation agency mentioned Vasquez’s household reported him lacking on Aug. 30, 2021. Legislation enforcement additionally had a name from somebody who mentioned they noticed a younger man strolling down the highway, clothed in pajamas that had been placed on backwards.
“The caller indicated that Aaron was not in a position to communicate when he interacted with him and that it appeared as if ‘one thing is unsuitable with him’ as he was ‘carrying pajamas backward.’ The caller even famous that ‘Ma’am he seems to be younger.’ The caller, clearly involved about Aaron, may even be heard telling him to not stroll a particular approach down the highway for his personal security, the lawsuit states.
When Trotter responded, he referred to as Vasquez “Sanchez” and “Gomez,” after which surprised him. The video, recorded from Trotter’s physique digicam, exhibits Vasquez mendacity on his again wanting on the officer after the primary stun.
The officer repeatedly says, “What’s your title? Title? Title?” Vasquez doesn’t reply.
“The video exhibits Aaron by no means posed a menace or tried to flee,” the legislation agency mentioned in a information launch.
Trotter claimed Vasquez hit him, first to a second responding officer after which to Vasquez’s father.
Vasquez was handcuffed and arrested on the facet of the highway, along with his pants pulled down.
The officer in his squad automobile says to a dispatcher, “He’s on some sort of drug,” the video exhibits.
“This isn’t the primary extreme tasing carried out by the Pickens Sheriff Division relationship again to 2015 when an harmless 65-year-old man in a wheelchair was tased in his own residence,” the legislation agency’s press launch mentioned.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Workplace requested the South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division to research on Sept. 3, 2021 and Trotter was charged Jan. 25.
He’s free on a private recognizance bond, courtroom information present.
Pickens County Sheriff’s Workplace Chief Chuck James mentioned his workplace couldn’t remark as a result of it’s an ongoing authorized matter.
© 2022 The State
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