The Independence, Missouri, police officer that tasered 17-year-old Bryce Masters in September was indicted last Thursday by a federal grand jury.
The indictment has been sealed and will remain so until the officer, Tim Runnels, makes his first appearance in court. However, it is believed that Runnels faces two charges relating to the use of force and his failure to assist the teen after he collapsed.
When asked about the charges, Runnels told KCTV5, “I have no information and I am unable to comment at this time due to the records being sealed.”
Likewise, an attorney representing Masters offered a similar comment on not being able to discuss the charges at this point in time.
“We want to respect the process and as a result we defer all questions on the indictments to the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Attorney Dan Haus said. “The Masters family would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI for their professionalism and vigilance in investigating this case.”
Here is the story as it appeared in GunsAmerica on Sept. 15, 2014:
An Independence, Missouri, police officer tasered and allegedly roughed up a 17-year-old on Sunday, leaving the young man in critical condition, local media reports.
Bryce Masters was heading over to a friends house Sunday afternoon when he was stopped by police who recognized that he had an outstanding traffic violation.
A police official for the department said that Masters was not following directives, refusing to roll down his vehicle’s window.
“I believe he did crack the window but did not roll it down any further,” said Sgt. Darrell Schmidli. “He was just being completely uncooperative with the officer.”
“The driver refused to exit the vehicle,” continued Schmidli. “A struggle ensued, a Taser was deployed by the officer. The driver was finally removed out of the car. A struggle ensued once he was moved out of the car.”
Witnesses said that during the struggle, Masters hit his head on the street and the officer failed to recognize that the teen was seriously injured.
“The cop was like, ‘you want to mess with me,’ and pulled out his Taser and tased him. I thought he shot him. Then he pulled him out of the car handcuffed him and drug him around the car,” witness Michelle Baker told KCTV.
“It looked like he hit his head on the concrete. You could see blood coming out of his mouth,” added Baker. “The cop put his foot on his back and moved it back and forth like he was putting a cigarette out and asked him, ‘are you ready to get up now?’ You could tell the kid was going into convulsions.”
Emergency medics arrived and treated Masters, who has since been put into a medically-induced coma because of the trauma to his brain. He is listed in critical condition.