HARTFORD — The mother of an 18-year old Hartford teen who was taken to St. Francis Hospital Tuesday after he was shot by a police Taser during what police described as a "group disturbance" said Wednesday that she intended to file a complaint against the officer.
The teen, 18-year old Luis Anglero Jr., remained in St. Francis Hospital Wednesday morning in what police described as "stable" condition. Because he remains in the hospital, Anglero still has not been formally charged in the incident and does not have a court date.
Police said Tuesday that Anglero was acting "aggressively" toward officers and was disobeying orders to leave the scene at Albany Avenue and Garden Street. But family and witnesses at the scene say Anglero had stopped walking and was complying with the officer's orders when he was shocked.
The Courant obtained a cellphone video of the aftermath of the Taser shooting from a witness at the scene that shows Anglero on the ground. The officer, identified as Det. Shawn Ware, is standing over him telling others to back off.
FOX CT obtained surveillance video from a nearby business of the moments before the Taser shot that shows Anglero rapidly advancing toward Ware before coming to a stop and putting his hands down by his side. There is a pause, and Ware then advances three steps toward Anglero before firing the Taser. Anglero immediately falls to the ground.
Family and friends say Anglero hit his head when he fell, drawing blood, and then began having what looked like a seizure. Anglero's condition was not immediately clear Tuesday evening and police said that although he was under arrest he had not been formally charged.
Anglero's mother, Maryann Yearwood, told the Courant Wednesday that she intended to file a complaint against Ware because she felt his actions were excessive.
Hartford Deputy Chief Brian J. Foley, who was not at the scene, said the Taser shooting occurred because Anglero was acting aggressively toward officers and had disobeyed a police supervisor's orders not to advance any further.
"Officers were made alert of a group disturbance at the mini-mart," Foley said. "They made progress in breaking up that disturbance. The accused came into the scene aggressively, came running up the street toward the officers, took his shirt off, had his fists clenched. The officers gave him verbal commands to stay out of the scene. He ignored. He came at the officer, and the officer used his Taser one time."
Foley declined to watch the surveillance video Tuesday evening, saying he did not want it to influence the report of the incident, which he said had not been written yet.
The cellphone video the Courant obtained does not show what transpired between Anglero and Ware before he was shocked. The surveillance video does not contain audio. Anglero is not wearing a shirt in either video.
Pedro Gil, who said he was with Anglero, said that he tried to grab Anglero and stop him from advancing, but that "he's very skinny, so he kind of weaseled out" and that's when his shirt came off.
Gil said that Anglero "wanted to go hit the guy that hit his sister" during the disturbance, but that when Ware told Anglero to stop he dropped his hands and stopped advancing. Gil said that Ware then shot Anglero with the Taser.
Foley said that Ware shocked Anglero once and that, according to the report from the Taser, it lasted five seconds, which is the automatic setting on the gun. Foley said a supervisor witnessed the incident and that a deputy chief arrived later.
According to the Hartford Police Department's policy on using stun guns, officers are justified to use "only that amount of force that reasonably appears necessary to affect an arrest, to control a situation, or to defend themselves or a third person from harm."
Foley said Ware was still on active duty after the incident.
Foley said he was not in position to comment Tuesday whether or not he felt Ware's actions were excessive because he had not seen the videos, but that if Anglero's family or friends who witnessed the incident did they were more than welcomed to file a complaint.
"If they have a claim of excessive force, we'd be happy to listen to them," Foley said. "We have a system of checks and balances in place right now and if they feel that way we'd encourage them to come forward and make those claims known to the police department so it can be investigated by our Internal Affairs department."