A Pennsylvania police corporal used a stun gun on a handcuffed teenager inside a jail cell, then sent a text message to a fellow officer in which he used the acronym LOL — for “laughing out loud”.
Colwyn police Cpl. Trevor Parham now faces misdemeanor charges of simple assault and official oppression in connection with the encounter involving the teen last month inside a borough police department jail cell.
He was suspended while the encounter was being investigated.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Parham used a stun gun on the handcuffed teen, then texted a fellow officer about the arrest, at one point writing that the teen was a “smart ass” who “got Tased in the cell lol.”
Delaware County District Attorney John Whelan called Parham’s conduct “offensive.”
“It’s certainly not funny, for anyone, be it a juvenile or a non-juvenile, who is handcuffed … to be hit with a Taser weapon,” Whelan said.
Parham was arraigned and released on $25,000 unsecured bail. His attorney, Thomas Fitzpatrick, said he expects Parham to be exonerated.
“These accusations have disheartened him, certainly, but he is someone who has a rather spotless record as it pertains to any accusation of excessive force in his law enforcement career,” Fitzpatrick said.
The investigation prompted Colwyn’s mayor to suspend Parham and the department’s acting chief — and to twice declare states of emergency — because he was unhappy the encounter wasn’t reported to him.
Whelan said the actions of borough officials and other officers in connection with the encounter remain under investigation, but he declined to discuss specifics.