4 Investigates: Rio Arriba County deputy tased jail guard in the groin
June 17, 2019 06:20 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Video shows a Rio Arriba County deputy tasing a Rio Arriba County jail guard in the groin.
The video begins with Deputy Leon Gallegos driving his cruiser into the sally port of the Rio Arriba County Jail. Jail guard Timothy Gallegos walks towards the cruiser.
At that point, the deputy points his taser at Gallegos and deploys it at his genitals.
The video shows the guard immediately hunch over – falling to his knees.
In a memo written by Timothy Gallegos, he stated:
"I told Sheriff's Officer Leon Gallegos to stop honking his horn at my jail. When he said this isn't your jail, we then both laughed and he pulled his issued taser and tased me in the groin."
Attorney Shannon Kennedy does not represent Timothy Gallegos at this time, but has seen the video and is familiar with the case.
"I saw an abuse of authority. This is a deputy who has been armed with a weapon. He takes his hand, points that weapon and he shoots it," Kennedy said. "That is a civil rights violation of the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution and the 14th Amendment."
Gallegos is on paid administrative leave while his department investigates the incident. The sheriff's office is not commenting – only saying they are reviewing what happened.
A review of the training files for Gallegos shows that he's been trained by Taser International in 2004 and 2008 on older Taser4 models, but there is no evidence showing he's been trained on the Taser he deployed, the new Taser X2.
"Now being hit in the groin area is going to be painful, regardless, but 50,000 volts of electricity into the groin area is unimaginably painful," Kennedy said.
This incident comes after another controversial tazing where Rio Arriba County Deputy Jeremy Barnes repeatedly tased a 15-year-old boy at Española Valley High School.
"This is an outrage," Kennedy said. "I think the people of Rio Arriba County should be afraid that they are living somewhere where deputies are clearly using tasers in a manner that is abusive and reckless."
The jail guard, Gallegos, did suffer a serious injury after being tased.
A spokesman for the Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office said there are no investigative reports ready yet because they are still investigating.
Updated: June 17, 2019 06:20 PM
Created: June 17, 2019 03:51 PM
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