While two young boys played in a church parking lot, a woman parked on the premises allegedly chased and tased one of the children.
On October 2, a 9-year-old boy and his friend were playing in the parking lot at the Latter-day Saint Church in Riverton, Utah.
A woman with purple hair was reportedly sitting in a beige vehicle close to where the boys were playing.
When the children noticed the woman, they believed that she was pointing her cell phone in their direction and thought she might be recording them.
One of the boys reportedly approached the woman in the vehicle and asked why she was using her phone that way, and she allegedly responded by saying, “Because I can.”
The kids decided to leave and head to a nearby park for a bit, and then returned to the church with the hopes of riding their scooters.
The woman in the vehicle was reportedly still parked in the lot, but the boys decided to continue having fun.
During their playtime, the 9-year-old that asked the woman about her use of her phone was behind the vehicle was behind her car, and she allegedly waved a taser around and threatened to use it on the child. She also allegedly used profane language toward the boys.
When they decided to depart on their scooters, the woman allegedly pulled out of the parking spot and started to follow the boys.
With the reported fear that she might strike him with the vehicle, the 9-year-old ditched his bike and began to flee on foot.
The woman in the vehicle reportedly ran after him on foot, and when she caught up with the child she allegedly held the taser to his chest for approximately 4 seconds.
As the child lay crying in pain in the grass, the woman allegedly left the scene, but someone at the church reportedly saw her leaving and was able to describe her car to the authorities. The person who gave the report also said they could hear the youngsters yelling out, but did not see the alleged assault take place.
The police arrived and recorded that the child was sporting burn marks on his body that were consistent with the use of a taser.
Medical personnel came to the church to check the boy’s condition, and he did not need further treatment.
During their investigation into the claims, the police collected surveillance video from residences in the area of the church.
Using the collected footage, they believed the suspect they were seeking was 37-year-old April Shurtleff.
Five days after the alleged taser attack, Shurtleff spoke with the police and reportedly said she was the person in the parking lot, but that she does not have a taser and had no negative interaction with the children.
According to the affidavit, Shurtleff later recanted and said she does have a taser. She told the authorities it was in the trunk of her vehicle, and they retrieved what they believed was the taser involved in the event with the youngster.
Shurtleff was taken into custody and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail without bond. She is facing charges for suspicion of felony aggravated assault, two counts of felony child abuse, and two counts of misdemeanor threat of violence.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a criminal offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.