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January 17, 2008
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Wis. duo put stolen TASER on YouTube

By Jacqueline Seibel
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A Town of Waukesha man is accused of stealing a Taser stun gun from an East Troy police officer, later videotaping himself and his father "tasing" each other and then putting the video on YouTube, officials said Wednesday.

The video clip of the father/son tasing duo appeared on YouTube hours after the Taser was stolen on New Year's Day.

Police say the 22-year-old man took the Taser when he was warming himself in a squad car after his car had gone into a ditch in Walworth County.

YouTube, which allows anyone to upload and share video clips on the Internet, was founded in 2005; Google acquired it the following year. The company removed the Town of Waukesha man's video clip. Police won't release the video because the case remains under investigation.

The video shows the man and his father, 41, taking turns holding the probes and firing the Taser, according to a Waukesha County search warrant. The Taser never penetrated the skin, Waukesha County Sheriff's Detective Steve Pederson said.

East Troy Police Chief Alan Boyes said his department discovered the Taser was missing a short time after it occurred and the video on YouTube within one or two days of the theft.

Boyes said an East Troy officer was assisting the man's two passengers after their car went into a ditch about 3 a.m. on Highway 20 near Highway L during a snowstorm.

The officer allowed the driver, the 22-year-old man, to sit in the back of her squad. He was not arrested or in custody, so he wasn't handcuffed, Boyes said. While in the squad, the man reached under a cage and stole the Taser off the seat, the chief said.

The officer had gotten the identification of the three people and gave them a lift to a nearby gas station where they could wait for a ride, Boyes said.

The Taser was discovered missing a short time later. East Troy police alerted the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department about the theft because the man lives in the Town of Waukesha.

The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department searched a home in the S5100 block of Big Bend Road belonging to the man's father on Jan. 3 where they recovered a Taser and confiscated a camera and computer equipment, according to the search warrant.

The man, 22, is in custody on an unrelated matter, Pederson said.

East Troy police are asking that the Town of Waukesha man be charged with two felonies, disarming a peace officer and possession of an electric weapon, and two misdemeanors, carrying a concealed electronic weapon and theft. The Walworth County District Attorney has not made a decision on charges.

The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department has not completed its investigation or determined what charges, if any, would be requested, Pederson said.

Copyright 2008 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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