Two deputies in Cherokee County, Georgia, are being sued for using a Taser on 19-year-old Daniel Fruhling who was reportedly handcuffed and pinned on the ground at the time.
A witness filmed part of the incident, which the family’s lawyer, Kyle Koester, described to WGCL:
When the video first starts, the first thing you hear is the sound of taser…you’ve got a small young kid face down on the ground with handcuffs on his back with two Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputies on his back…and you hear, “Please, please, I can’t breathe.”
Fruhling’s mother, Jeanette McDonald, said her son was handcuffed while being tased:
When you hear a child scream for help and all they continue to do is hurt him, it is very gut wrenching, I don’t understand how someone can call for medical help and how it can go to that.
The deputies were called to the scene after an unidentified woman saw the teen passed out in a pickup truck that was parked in her driveway. When she was unable to wake him, she called 911 in hopes that someone could revive him.
Koester did not say why the teen was passed out, but added:
This opioid epidemic is not something we can jail our way out of…there was no care or concern at all for his medical needs. It was purely an effort of law enforcement to make sure that they made and effectuated an arrest.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office refused to comment, but said in its police report that the teen repeatedly refused to get out of his pickup truck when ordered to by deputies.
The deputies noted in their report that they struck him twice with a baton and once with the Taser for five seconds while he was in the pickup truck.
However, there is no mention of the tasing outside the pickup truck.
The teen was charged with DUI-drugs (although he was not actually driving at the time of the arrest), obstruction and public drunkenness.