MOUNT STERLING, OHIO – Officials in the Madison County village of Mount Sterling expect a packed house tonight when the village council meets for the first time since suspending Police Chief Mike McCoy and essentially disbanding the police force on Friday.
Mayor Charlie Neff issued the suspensions after he was told that a village police officer had shocked a 9-year-old boy with a Taser earlier in the week during an arrest. Neff said McCoy should have immediately reported the incident to Neff and council members. He did not.
Officer Scott O’Neil, who used the Taser twice Tuesday morning on 9-year-old Jared Perry, did not respond to calls on Friday for comment. Village officials, however, released a copy of O’Neil’s report this morning.
The sheriff’s office had requested an officer check the boy’s S. Market Street address on because there was an outstanding unruly juvenile complaint filed against him because he was truant from school.
According to O’Neil’s written account: He arrived at the home just before 8:30 a.m. to take the boy into custody. Jared refused to cooperate and wouldn’t put on his shoes to go with the officer. He begged his mother, Michelle Perry, to let him go to school rather than with the officer, but Perry told her son it was too late.
O’Neil wrote that after repeated warnings, he pulled Jared from the couch but the boy “ dropped to the floor and became dead weight … flailing around.” The officer wrote that Jared — who is listed as between 5 foot 5 and 5 foot 8 inches tall and between 200 and 250 pounds — laid on his hands to prevent being handcuffed.
The report indicates that O’Neil warned that he would use the Taser, and demonstrated the electrical current into the air “as a show of force” to gain the boy’s cooperation. He wrote that Jared’s mother was telling her son to do as O’Neil said or else he would be shocked.
O’Neil wrote that after he shocked Jared the first time, he still refused to cooperate and so he was shocked a second time.
It took both O’Neil and the boy’s mother to get Jared to his feet, once handcuffed. He was breathing heavily but uninjured, and Perry signed a waiver of medical treatment. Jared was taken to the sheriff’s office and charged with delinquency counts of unruliness for his truancy and resisting arrest. O’Neil wrote that Jared’s mother thanked him for his help.
O’Neil said that he immediately notified Chief McCoy about what had happened. McCoy has not publicly commented since his suspension. Perry has not been able to be reached for comment.
The Madison County sheriff’s office is patrolling the village while it all is sorted out. Council President Lowell Anderson said council will have to decide tonight whether to permanently disband the force.