The mayor of tiny Colwyn Borough has declared a state of emergency as the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office investigates allegations police Tasered an uncooperative teen witness in a holding cell.
Mayor Daniel Rutland reportedly made the declaration late Wednesday after a day during which the small Police Department’s acting chief, a lieutenant and two officers were suspended either by the mayor or the borough council in an emergency session.
Rutland said he would reinstate the lieutenant, Wesley Seitz, and name him acting chief because the ranking officer had nothing to do with the April 24 incident.
Also suspended were Deputy Chief Wendell Reed; Cpl. Trevor Parham, who allegedly administered the shock; and, Officer Michel Drucker, who was present when it happened.
Da’Qwan Jackson, the 17-year-old who alleges that Parham Tasered him in the holding cell, said he witnessed a fight on April 24 but refused to give the officer his name. Parham gave him a disorderly conduct citation, which Jackson threw on the ground. Jackson said Parham took him into custody and placed him in the cell with his legs and arms shackled.
Jackson said that he kicked the cell bars twice, prompting Parham to Taser him.
Rutland said earlier Wednesday the incident wasn’t properly documented. He said he found out about it after receiving calls from concerned citizens four days later.
“I should have been informed, not kept in the dark,” he said. “It’s disturbing to me. It’s not the way you run a department.”
Rutland said Seitz was the only person from the department to notify about the incident after he investigated it and suspended Parham.
According to sources, Reed was planning to fire Seitz Thursday in retaliation for investigating the incident and reporting it.
Seitz and Reed both declined to comment. Parham showed up at the department in civilian clothes Wednesday afternoon, but also refused to comment.