$142K paid to set­tle law­suit

Al­len­town po­lice ac­cused of im­proper use of stun gun.

The Morning Call - - LOCAL NEWS - By Pe­ter Hall

Al­len­town po­lice paid $142,500 to set­tle claims an of­fi­cer shot a teenage boy in the back with a Taser, ac­cord­ing to a set­tle­ment agree­ment in a fed­eral law­suit.

The set­tle­ment, ob­tained by The Morn­ing Call in a Right-to-Know re­quest, ends the law­suit on be­half of Jaylen San­ti­ago, who is now an adult, claim­ing Al­len­town po­lice of­fi­cer Ja­coby Glenny used the Taser im­prop­erly, re­sult­ing in in­juries for San­ti­ago.

Ac­cord­ing to the law­suit, the stun gun's barbs struck San­ti­ago in the back and but­tocks. The shock from the Taser caused San­ti­ago to fall face first to the pave­ment of North Hazel Street. He suf­fered frac­tures of his fa­cial and jaw bones and sev­eral bro­ken teeth, for which he re­quired sev­eral surg­eries.

The law­suit claimed San­ti­ago's in­juries were a re­sult of Al­len­town's fail­ure to prop­erly train of­fi­cers to use Tasers and im­ple­ment ap­pro­pri­ate poli­cies re­gard­ing the weapon's use. It also claimed the city has failed to heed warn­ings about the im­proper use of stun guns by po­lice.

The law­suit is one of at least seven against Al­len­town po­lice in­volv­ing al­le­ga­tions of im­proper stun gun use.

San­ti­ago's law­suit is one of at least seven against Al­len­town po­lice in­volv­ing al­le­ga­tions of im­proper stun gun use. The city has set­tled six since 2015 for more than $560,000, ac­cord­ing to set­tle­ments ob­tained by The Morn­ing Call. One is still pend­ing. He was rep­re­sented by Al­len­town at­tor­ney Joshua Karoly.

San­ti­ago, then 17, was walk­ing with two friends in the area of the Al­len­town Ceme­tery in the 900 block of Turner Street early on the morn­ing of March 21, 2016, when Glenny called out for the group to stop and come to talk to him. Cross­ing the ceme­tery on a foot­path, the group walked to­ward Glenny and be­gan speak­ing to him, the suit says.

As the con­ver­sa­tion con­tin­ued, Glenny al­legedly be­came hos­tile to­ward San­ti­ago and his friends, ag­gres­sively ap­proach­ing them and reach­ing as if to grab San­ti­ago, the suit claims. Fear­ful, San­ti­ago stepped away and be­gan run­ning away from Glenny.

At that point, the suit claims, San­ti­ago had no obli­ga­tion to stay and speak with Glenny. The of­fi­cer, how­ever, pur­sued San­ti­ago, draw­ing his Taser and fir­ing it at the boy, the suit says.

San­ti­ago was ar­rested and charged as a ju­ve­nile with an un­spec­i­fied crime, but Le­high County Judge John L. Brax­ton found San­ti­ago's seizure, ar­rest and search were un­law­ful. Brax­ton barred prose­cu­tors from us­ing any of the ev­i­dence re­cov­ered against San­ti­ago. Be­cause San­ti­ago was charged as a ju­ve­nile, the charges are not pub­lic and Karoly de­clined to say what they were.

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