police chief Tasers 14-year-old
Girl recovering after dart surgically removed from her head
Friday, Jul 3 2009, 7:08 pm
By Chelle Delaney: Freedom New Mexico
A 14-year-old Tucumcari girl is recovering at an
after being shot in the head with a Taser dart by Tucumcari Police
Chief Roger Hatcher…
…Her mother, Stacy Akin, said her daughter underwent surgery Friday
morning at University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque.
“One of the darts entered her skull,” said Akin, interviewed by
After a CAT scan, a hospital resident told her the dart was “in
brain a little bit, but not much,” Akin said.
She was in pediatric intensive care following the surgery, Akin said.
“She seems OK, but she she’s in a lot of pain. Her head is hurting her
real bad.” [emphasis added]
If the dart was in her brain, that means it penetrated the entire skull
and entered the subdural space. This would create a risk of
The whole thing started when the girl and her mother were arguing over
a cell phone. Mom took daughter to the police station, presumably
to teach her a lesson, although that is not clear from the
article. The girl ran. Then she ended up in the ICU with a
her skull. All because of an argument about a cell phone.
The original article mentioned that:
Hatcher said he plans to refer the case to the Juvenile
Probation Office Monday for possible charges.
is that the chief was placed on paid administrative leave pending an
investigation. The href="http://www.qcsunonline.com/news/chief-7384-investigation-police.html">other
update is that charges were never filed against the girl, even
though the chief filed papers with a request for criminal charges:
Romaine Serna, spokeswoman for the Children Youth and Families
Division, said juvenile authorities decided to work with the family
rather than seek judicial process in the case.
“We did receive a referral on this individual and right now
the local juvenile probation office is assessing the needs of the
family and will work with the youth and the family and provide services
as the family identifies its needs,” she said Friday.
Evidently, the police department refers for criminal charges, but the
Child, Youth, and Families Division decides whether to go ahead with
the charges. In this case, they decided against it. Also,
the subsequent reports indicate that the girl scratched her mother and
hit her mother in the face, in the course of the argument about the
cell phone. Even so, it is hard to imagine how the use of
potentially deadly force would