Wyo. town hires consultant to review TASER incident
By Matt Joyce
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The town of Glenrock has hired a consultant to investigate the actions of two police officers who used a Taser on a 76-year-old man riding an antique tractor in a parade, town officials said Friday.
Police Chief Tom Sweet said officials decided this week to hire an independent party to conduct an internal review.
"It's just to avoid the appearance of impropriety basically, because it is such a hot-button issue," Town Council member Linda Care said. "We want to make very sure that we're transparent, and that's the way to do it."
Retired truck driver Bud Grose was hit with a Taser during the Deer Creek Days festival on Aug. 1 in Glenrock, a town of about 2,200 residents about 20 miles east of Casper in central Wyoming.
Grose said Friday that he would like to see the investigation completed and the matter cleared up. He said he continues to hear from other Glenrock residents about the fracas.
"They're still angry about it, and they're commencing to get just a little bit anxious about wanting to see something done and taken care of," Grose said.
Sweet has declined to comment on details of the incident, other than to say two officers are on paid administrative leave. Sweet, whose department has seven officers, also requested a review by the state Division of Criminal Investigation. The consultant hired is Steve Miller of Cheyenne, who has an extensive background in law enforcement.
Kebin Haller, DCI deputy director, said the report is near completion and will be handed over to the Converse County Attorney's Office to review for possible prosecution of criminal charges.
Grose, who retired from his trucking job 13 years ago, said he was leading a procession of antique tractors from the Central Wyoming Antique Power Club in the Aug. 1 parade. He said a 9-year-old boy - the son of an acquaintance - was actually behind the wheel of the 1959 John Deere tractor while Grose sat on a fender regulating its throttle, clutch and brake.
Grose said the tractor was pulling a four-wheeled wagon that carried three women sitting on chairs inside and was near the end of the parade route when the incident occurred.
He said his tractor continued past a policeman who was trying to direct traffic in another direction. The tractors were trying to drive to a park and decrease congestion, as they had been allowed to do in years past, Grose said.
That's when a patrol car came after him, and cut him off, causing the tractor to hit the police car, Grose said.
"He come a screaming down through there and just cut me off, and like one lady said, it was just wham-bam," Grose said.