A school resource officer in Ohio has been placed on administrative leave after allegedly using a Taser to wake a student who fell asleep in class.
Officer Maryssa Boskoski, without warning, activated a Taser a few feet from a junior sleeping in a classroom at Liberty Preparatory School in Smithville, a village about 30 miles southwest of Akron, according to Cleveland’s WEWS-TV. The student wasn’t hurt in the Aug. 30 incident.
“She did take her Taser, remove the cartridge from it, and arced the Taser,” Smithville Police Chief Howard Funk told the TV station.
The teen, who slept through efforts to wake him by his teacher and interim Principal Jenna Parnell, apparently was awoken by a combination of the Taser’s sparking noise and the commotion it caused in the classroom.
Parnell said she was surprised by the officer’s use of the weapon.
“Our interest is in the safety of our students, so hearing that go off was a little alarming,” Parnell told WFTX-TV.
Boskoski, 32, a part-time Smithville officer, reportedly violated the police department’s policy on the use of Tasers.
“Liberty Prep is fully cooperating with the Smithville Police Department’s investigation and the police officer has been put on administrative leave,” the school said in a Wednesday letter to parents.
The police chief told WFTX he plans to meet with the village solicitor to decide whether the incident merits criminal charges.
“It’s unfortunate and I’m disappointed that this took place,” Funk said. “It’s something I would not have expected from any of our officers.”
Smithville Mayor Tom Poulson told HuffPost the police chief would conduct “a complete and professional investigation” into what he called “the unfortunate incident” and report the findings.
Neither Funk nor Parnell responded to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
Boskoski’s personnel file shows another questionable incident earlier this year when she failed to remove a Taser cartridge prior to a spark test. As a result, the device discharged in close proximity to another officer, WEWS-TV reported.
This article has been updated to include the mayor’s comment.