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Ind. deputy disciplined for misusing TASER

By Bill McCleery
The Indianapolis Star

HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. A Hancock County Sheriff's deputy must serve a 30-day suspension for using her Taser stun gun on a 17-year-old family friend during a horseplay incident July 3.
Sgt. Bridget Foy, a 12-year veteran of the department, used her Taser on the teen apparently asked to be Tased to see what it was like, said Sheriff Bud Gray.

"They had been kidding back and forth," Gray said. "It was a very inappropriate act on the part of our deputy and we felt we had to take disciplinary action."

Gray handed down the disciplinary action on Tuesday, and the suspension begins tomorrow.
Foy has built a solid reputation as a deputy, the sheriff said, adding that he considers the incident an isolated instance of poor judgment.

"I support Sgt. Foy," Gray said. "She's a fine officer. She's been here for many years. We've never had any disciplinary problems with her. This was not a negligent act. It was just horseplay that went too far. ... The Taser is one of the best tools to come to law enforcement in decades, and it's not a toy."

Foy will lose three paychecks totaling $5,390 as a result of her suspension. She is scheduled to return to work Oct. 5, Gray said.

Authorities became aware of the incident when the boy's father reported it, Gray said. The teen apparently did not consider the incident as serious as the father and expressed hope that Foy would not be punished, Gray added.

Foy possibly could face further legal implications from the incident. The Sheriff's Department forwarded information from its internal investigation to Hancock County Prosecutor Dean Dobbins.

The prosecutor, in turn, recused himself from considering the evidence because of his close working relationship with the sheriff's department. He forwarded the information to the Henry County prosecutor. No decision has been made about whether further legal action might result, Gray said.

"We as a sheriff's department have closed the investigation," Gray said. "I look forward to Sgt. Foy returning to work."

Foy did not immediately return a call to her pager this morning.

Copyright 2007 The Indianapolis Star

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