Suit: Deputies stunned teens for no cause

July 19, 2009 at 1:54 AM

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill., July 19 (UPI) -- The Illinois Office of State Guardian has sued two sheriff's deputies, charging they electronically stunned three teenage boys at an emergency shelter.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in East St. Louis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Saturday.

In court papers, the office says two Jefferson County deputies -- David Bowers and Lonnie Lawler -- went on a rampage July 4, 2008, at the Southern Thirty Adolescent Center near Mount Vernon. The deputies had been called to the shelter -- which houses boys ages 11 to 18 -- because of problems with three children ages 11 and 12.

The suit charges Bowers used his Taser on one teenage boy with no provocation and then pushed another boy down and stunned him as well. Lawler allegedly handcuffed another boy, while Bowers then stunned him.

A 17-year-old girl, at the shelter for a day program, tried to get the two men to stop, the suit says. Lawler allegedly put her in handcuffs and Bowers choked her and shut her in a closet.

The suit also names Sheriff Roger Mulch.

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