Former Upstate deputy tased non-verbal autistic teen 17 times, lawsuit says
PICKENS, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - An Upstate family has filed a lawsuit against the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, the sheriff and a former deputy after an autistic teenager was allegedly hit with a stun gun 17 times.
The incident occurred in August 2021 after then-17-year-old Aaron Vasquez was reported missing. Someone saw Vasquez walking down the road with pajamas on backward, unable to speak, and called authorities.
Attorneys described Vasquez as “non-verbal” and “severely autistic.”
According to the lawsuit, deputy James Trotter used his Taser on Vasquez 17 times in approximately 5 minutes, including when Vasquez was facing away from him and putting his hands behind his back.
Vasquez’s family is suing for alleged violation of his Constitutional rights, gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Earlier this year, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division conducted an investigation into the incident and charged Trotter with misconduct and second-degree assault and battery.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office said they are aware of the lawsuit, but would not comment on any pending litigation.
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