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Friday, August 26, 2011

 

Police taser 7-year-old boy during traffic stop

nola.com

Lawsuit accuses Gretna cop of Tasering 7-year-old boy during traffic stop

 

Published: Monday, August 22, 2011, 4:53 PM   

Updated: Monday, August 22, 2011, 4:55 PM

 

Paul Purpura
The Times-Picayune
 

A Gretna police officer accused in a lawsuit this month of unleashing his canine on a suspect whose penis was nearly severed has been accused in another lawsuit of injuring a 7-year-old boy with his Taser, a shock intended for the boy's father who says he wrongly arrested during a traffic stop. Officer Joseph Mekdessie, Chief Arthur Lawson, the Gretna Police Department and the City of Gretna are named in the lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans by attorneys for Marlon Bordelon Sr., and his son Marlon Bordelon Jr., who seek $325,000 in damages in the May 21 incident.

Lawson said Monday he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment, but he knew of no instances in which a child was hit with a Taser.

The Bordelons were "traveling home" when Mekdessie conducted a traffic stop and allegedly shined his flashlight in the boy's face, leading the father to question why the officer was doing it, according to the lawsuit filed by attorney Edwin Shorty Jr. The officer then asked the elder Bordelon for his license and registration, and asked him to get out of the car.

The father twice asked why he was being ordered out of the car and refused to get out, "prompting Officer Mekdessie to say, 'Don't get tased in front of your son.'"

"Mr. Bordelon then asked the officer, 'So you're just gonna tase me in front of my son?'" and again refused to get out of his car, according to the lawsuit.

When the father told his son to call his mother, Mekdessie fired his Taser, striking the man and his son. Mekdessie fired the Taser a second time at the man, causing him to fall out of the car and onto the ground, where the officer placed a stun gun to the man's neck and shocked him before putting him in handcuffs and dragging him and punched in the neck and face, according to the lawsuit.

Marlon Bordelon Jr. was taken to Children's Hospital, where a burn mark on his leg caused by the Taser was noted, according to the lawsuit. After he was released from jail on charges of battery on a police officer and traffic offenses, Bordelon Sr., was treated for a black eye and first-degree burns, according to the lawsuit.

Mekdessie "mislabeled" Bordelon's "involuntary gestations," caused by his being shocked, Bordelon alleges. Bordelon says he did nothing wrong, but that Mekdessie "sought to falsely prosecute ... and to concoct a false story against him."

The lawsuit accused Lawson and the police department of not properly training officers to use Tasers and approve their use even when there is no threat to the officer.

Mekdessie,Lawson, Officer Roland Kindell and the police department were sued Aug. 9, by Cody Melancon of Gretna, who alleges his constitutional rights were violated May 31, when Mekdessie, Kindell and other officers went to his apartment to arrest him on a warrant.

Melancon admits he initially tried to hide from the officers. But he said he surrendered, and despite complying, Mekdessie allegedly released his police canine, Zin, without cause. The dog bit at Melancon's groin area, causing extensive damage and leaving him sexually dysfunctional. Melancon seeks $31 million in damages.


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