A Rockdale County High School male student was struck with a Taser and arrested for obstruction Tuesday morning after an argument over a cell phone escalated into a struggle with a Conyers police officer.
According to reports from the Conyers Police Department, which provides the School Resource Officer for RCHS, the school had experienced a recent series of cell phone and iPod thefts and the administration was cracking down on allowing students to have electronic devices during school hours.
"If a student is observed with any electronic device, cell phone, music player or headphones, the item is confiscated and can be redeemed by the student at the end of the school day after the final bell rings for dismissal," wrote officer Pete Salvey.
On that morning, a female student reportedly was refusng to give up her cell phone despite the orders of a teacher to do so.
"I heard her state, 'You ain't getting my phone!' and continue walking away," Salvey wrote.
The officer, who reported that he recognized the female from previous disturbance calls, followed her and instructed her to return to the cafeteria.
"I moved to take hold of her arm and she jerked away from me stating, 'Get off of me!'"
As she was brought back to the cafeteria, she reportedly kept saying, "Y'all are doing too much!" and then ran towards the confiscated items box and threw her cell phone in it.
"She tried to continue walking by me when I suddenly realized that there was someone standing next to me to my left," wrote the officer. A 17-year-old male student, Antonio Alexander, described by students as the girl's brother, was standing next to the officer.
"(He) was glaring at me with an angry look on his face. I ordered him to step back away from me and he refused to move away. I again ordered for him to move away and again he refused to move.
"In a loud voice I ordered him to move and stated, 'What are you going to do?'"
According to the report, Salvey felt Alexander's hand on his left shoulder.
"He grabbed at my left shoulder in a forceful manner in a way that I immediately felt I had to defend myself," wrote the officer.
Salvey reportedly tried to do a wrist lock but was not able to.
"We began to fight more aggressively with each other at this point. We were both grabbing at one another and i was attempting to gain a position of control to affect an arrest," he wrote.
Alexander moved off the table and Salvey pushed away and pulled out his Taser, ordering Alexander to sit down.
"He refused my order. I again ordered him to sit down usng a loud verbal command... He refused my order."
Salvey gave the order a third time, according to the report, and then said "Sit down or I will Tase you."
The student began to walk away and the officer fired the Taser into Alexander's left side. The student fell, hitting a table on the way down, and then was placed in handcuffs.
An ambulance was called and emergency medical personnel evaluated and released the student.
Alexander's mother also came to the school and signed a waiver for treatment.
Alexander was charged with felony obstruction and disorderly conduct, and charges were also sought against the female student in juvenile court.
(Feb. 28, 7:55 p.m.) IN BRIEF: A Rockdale County High School student was Tasered and arrested today at the school after refusing to follow an officer's commands, according to the Conyers Police Department.
A faculty member and a female student came into a disagreement today and the CPD's school resource officer at RCHS reportedly stepped in. Another student, a 17-year-old male, intervened into the situation as well.
According to CPD Maj. Mike Waters, the male student began confronting the officer. "The officer was giving commands to back away," said Waters. "Ultimately the student got Tasered."
The 17-year-old was charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction.
Waters said it's a rare occurence for a Taser to be used on a student and that the last time a student at RCHS was Tasered was last year.
Waters said an officer's use-of-force guidelines are the same for students as the general public.