INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- The law firm representing the family of Bryce Masters, 17, who received a taser shock during an altercation with a police officer Sunday afternoon released a statement on Tuesday, saying the Taser struck Masters six inches from the heart and caused him to go into fatal cardiac arrhythmia.
According to the Haus Law Firm of Belton, Masters suffered severe acute oxygen deprivation to the brain when he went into cardiac arrest.
Masters was pulled over by Independence police officer Tim Runnels when a traffic warrant came back to the license plate on the car Masters was driving. The car was registered to a woman.
A friend of Masters says he heard him tell the officer he couldn’t roll down the window because it was broken. Then the friend explained what he saw happen next.
“Bryce pulled out his phone and started videotaping it and he was like, ‘What am I being arrested for?’ and the cop just grabbed him and said ‘You’re under arrest,’ started pulling him out of the car. Bryce put his foot up to kind of defend himself, he didn’t know what was going on and cop tased him.” explained Curtis Martes.
On Tuesday, Masters remained in critical but stable condition.
"Late yesterday evening, the Centerpoint Medical Center team caring for Bryce began efforts to bring Bryce out of the medically induced coma. The process took place overnight and early this morning Bryce began responding to stimuli. Although the news is positive, the family remains guardedly optimistic as it is far too early to know the long term effect of his injuries," said Daniel Haus, attorney in a written statement.
Police spokesperson Paul Thurman says a preliminary investigation indicates Masters did not cooperate with the officer.
“During the course of the stop, the driver became uncooperative, physically resisted to exiting the car and an altercation ensued, leading the officer to deploy the taser,” said Thurman.
Masters is the son of a Kansas City, Missouri police officer, but Thurman was very quick to say it will have no bearing on the investigation.