Monday, October 22, 2007

Infant Hurt By Bounty Hunter Using a Taser

An infant was hit in the hand by a Taser fired by a bounty hunter, but apparently not shocked, when the child's mother used the infant as a shield, police said.

The mother, whose name was not released, was later arrested for child endangerment.

Preliminary police reports said the bounty hunter had tracked a man to a car at an apartment complex in northwest Oklahoma City Friday night.

"At some point the bounty hunter felt it was necessary to deploy the Taser, and a female in the car apparently held her infant up to shield herself from the Taser," said Sgt. Keith Vance.

One of the Taser probes lodged into the infant's hand, but the child was not shocked, since the other probe missed, Vance said.

Emergency responders were called to the scene about 6:30 p.m. Friday to treat a child with a bloody hand.

During the commotion of the child being hit by the Taser probe, the man, whom police identified as Joe Hawkins, tried to drive away and crashed his car at the complex, Vance said.

After wrecking the car, Hawkins, 28, escaped after he jumped out of the car and ran away, dropping a firearm in the process, police said.

Police also arrested a second, unidentified, woman, who they discovered was listed as an escapee, though it was not clear from where she escaped, Vance said.

The bounty hunter, who also was not identified, apparently did nothing wrong, according to Vance.

"He can certainly use a Taser if he feels there is a need to do so," Vance said.

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