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Police: We had to stun young mother

Sept. 27, 2008 at 2:17 AM   |   Comments

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- A Vancouver teenager says police used a stun gun on her while she was holding her month-old baby.

Misha Peterson, 16, said police held her down while stunning her, The Province reported. Police give a different version of events.

Constable Jana McGuinness told The Province police had to stun Peterson to get her to release the baby. McGuinness said officers and social service workers were afraid the infant might be smothered by being held against his mother's chest.

Social service workers went to the home of Scott Mitchell, 17, the baby's father, Monday because Peterson had not returned to her foster home. Mitchell is under a court order not to see the child without an adult present.

McGuinness said Peterson became distraught and refused to release the baby, who has congenital medical problems. She said an officer briefly stunned the teen twice on the arm after three hours of futile negotiations to get her to release her hold.

"It might appear to be harsh but we have to remember that if the child died because we hadn't used the Taser, what criticism would we face then?" she said.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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