Middle school student tased during fight

August 30, 2010 9:00:00 PM PDT
A fight between two students at Westlake Middle School in Apex Monday ended with a girl being tased.Police say they tried to break up the fight themselves at first, but they were unsuccessful.

Cary Deputy Police Chief Barry Nickalson says the school's resource officer tried talking to the girl, using pressure points to loosen her grip, even tried to pry her arm loose, but when none of that worked he used a taser.

"He deployed it and immediately it was effective," Nickalson said.

Police say if the officer did not step in, the girl may have killed a little boy.

"Our victim was basically dangling from being choked," Nickalson said. "The way we see this, is we saved a life yesterday as a result of using this tool. Other techniques were just not effective."

However, some are skeptical about the actions that were taken.

"How big was the child that was tasered," parent Noel Myricks said. "I think all parents would hope that the person who tasered the child exercised good judgment."

"I think they could have like, pulled her off the kid," said Joe Goolden, a high school junior. "It's a middle school student; she couldn't have been that strong."

But the police chief disagrees.

"Sometimes people have superhuman strength and that doesn't necessarily depend on your age or your size or your build," Nickalson said.

He says the use-of-force policy at schools for Cary police is no different from the policy they use on the streets.

It's the same with every other agency which provides SRO's to schools. Currently, there is no system-wide policy on use of force.

The policy for use-of-force at Wake schools is currently set by the town or city the school is located in.

The director for Wake County schools says that's the way it needs to be.

"I don't feel like we're in a position to tell them how to operate their police departments," the director said.

However, Wake County School Board Chairman Ron Margiotta says he thinks there should be more uniformity between schools and says the board will take a look at that down the road.

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