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Published on September 21st, 2014 | by News Feed

Taser Puts Missouri Teen in Cardiac Arrest After Cop Smells Pot

When 17-year-old Bryce Masters was pulled over for a routine traffic stop, he never imagined that his life was hanging in the balance. Police officer Tim Runnels noticed that a car had darkly tinted windows and ran a license check, only to discover that there was an outstanding warrant associated with the vehicle. When they pulled over Masters, they had no idea that he was not the owner of the car.

Runnels noted in his report that he asked Masters to roll down his window, but the teen only rolled it halfway and refused to lower it further. The cop smelled weed and demanded that Masters step out of the vehicle. The teen refused and so the Runnels forcefully opened the door. Masters was recording the incident on his iPhone when Runnels pulled out his taser and fired it at the teen’s chest. The probes hit in six inches apart in the chest and he immediately went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital where he was placed in a medically induced coma and doctors worked to save his life.

According to court documents, police searched the car after the incident and only found some drug paraphernalia. The owner of the car was not present. Masters is still in critical condition, but he is awake and starting to talk to his doctors and relatives. His father is a police officer in Kansas City and the FBI has stepped in to launch an official investigation of the incident. It is yet to be determined in Runnels will face any consequences for using excessive force. The FBI has confiscated the drug paraphernalia as well as the iPhone that Masters used to record the incident. It is being analyzed in a Kansas City forensics lab at this time.

While it probably was a bad idea to resist the officer’s requests to step out of the car, Masters could never have known that such a momentary choice could cost him everything. Cardiac arrest can cause permanent damage due to the brain’s lack of oxygen during such an event.

Was the police officer out of line to use a taser on the teenager? Should Runnels be fired or face prosecution for his actions?

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