Wednesday, August 15, 2007

David Boling Tasers William Lewis While He Holds his Baby Daughter at Woman's Hospital In Texas


In Houston, a hospital security guard (David Boling) fired a stun gun at a father (William Lewis) to prevent him from taking home his newborn baby. Both father and daughter fell to the floor. William Lewis claims his daughter suffered from head trauma from the incident. Lewis, age 30, claims that in April of this year he and his wife were mistreated by the Woman's Hospital in Texas. Lewis decided to leave the hospital; however, doctors would not allow them to leave. Lewis walked to the the elevators with his daughter. The elevators would not operate because of the electronic wristband sensors on the baby. Nevertheless, the hospital security guard, David Boling, tasered Lewis.

George Kirkham, a former police officer and a criminologist at Florida State (FSU) states his initial impression, "I've got to wonder what kind of moron would Taser an adult holding a baby. It does not take rocket science to realize the baby is going to fall...The taser is a legitimate law enforcement tool. The problem is the abusive use of them. They're supposed to only be used to protect yourself or another person from imminent aggression and physical harm. They are over used now..."

Lewis claims his daughter now "shakes a lot and cries a lot and is not real responsive." He claims that something is definitely wrong with his daughter. (It was not clear whether Karla (the baby) received any electrical shock.) Karla is currently in the custody of Child Protective Services because of a history of domestic violence between Lewis and his wife, Jacqueline Gray. Estella Olguin (C.P.S) apparently has not noticed any abnormalities in the child she associates with the fall.

David Boling is an off-duty Houston police officer who was working security at the hospital.
He claims that Lewis was hostile and uncooperative. Lewis was arrested and charged with endangering a child; however, a grand jury refused to indict him on that charge. The grand jury did charged him with retaliation apparently based on making threats against Boling. Lewis has also been charged with a second count of retaliation after he allegedly made a threatening phone call to Boling. Lewis denies all charges and is considering suing the hospital.

Does a patient and/or a parent have the right to leave a hospital? Or is hospital like jail?Update 2-21-08 A new L.E.D. bright light which temporarily disables would be criminals may make tasers obsolete!

Update 4-14-14:  TMZ reported a man tried to use an umbrella against police tasers.  Guess who won?
follow the link to watch the confrontation.   Taser V. Umbrella

Update 6-25-14:  Are laws limiting the use of Tasers appropriate?  As you  may recall, Tasers are "electronic control weapons." Inspired by the 2012 Taser death of MacAdam Lee Mason in 2012, Police in Vermont now have stricter rules when using electronic stun guns under bill H.225,  The bill requires a police oversight committee to develop a policy for how and when police should use Tasers. It also requires police to attend Taser additional training. Under the law, Tasers may only be used against subjects who exhibit active aggression or actively pose a risk of injury to others or themselves. Seems like a good law.  However, should police have to also wear a camera when they carry Tasers? Tasers can be deadly!

Update 7-12-17:    The debate about the use of Tasers has changed little since the original story. Recently, Zachary N. Bearheels was allegedly Tasered 12 times by the Omaha police before he died. Bearheels was an Oklahoma man with a history of mental illness.  Granted, Bearheels was apparently resisting arrest on June 5, 2017. Ironically, the electric shocks apparently failed to incapacitate the 29-year-old Bearheels and therefore an officer pulled Bearheels to the ground, grabbed his ponytail, and dragged him to the police car.  Supposedly, another officer also punched Bearheels in the head several times. While the incident apparently violated Omaha Police procedure, the actual cause of death is still not known.  The community in Omaha did not take the death of Bearheels well.  Bearheels was a bipolar, schizophrenic who may not have been accountable for his actions.

An autopsy will determine the cause of death and a grand jury will investigate whether the officers’ used excessive force.  Omaha World-Herald   There apparently are video clips of some of the confrontation but they will be sealed for the grand jury's review. The officers involved all had less than five years of experience which may have been a factor in how this matter was handled.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska released a statement saying in part that the incident served as “a reminder that Tasers are lethal weapons and that they should only be used as a last resort.”   The officers names have been withheld from this story. They are to be presumed innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law.

32 comments:

Ms. Calabaza said...

It's probably irresponsible for me to give an opinion on this, since there's probably much more to this story. But every once in a while, it's fun to be flip . . . As a former CPS worker (many moons ago)I'd be willing to bet this child has had more trauma by witnessing the domestic disputes between mom and dad than any taser. The CPS worker does not feel this child is anything but normal . . . I am more worried about this baby being in the home with this nutcase than anything else . . .

blond bombshell said...

Great minds think a like. I could have started with the comment that the "pig" probably deserved it for squealing so loud and abusively before the taser; however, that might upset sensitive male readers.

If the guy had been calm, asked a lawyer to get him and his baby out of the hospital, there would have been no need for a taser.

Shell

Anonymous said...

Retaliation? He lit up a man holding a baby. That is just plain low

Jimmie said...

Abuse of force! Barny Fife with a taser is how I see it...




Jimmie

Nurse Nellie said...

Hell no you don't have a right to leave the hospital until the doctor and the staff say so...

Patients are not capable of making their own decisions about discharge of medical care.


Nurse Nellie

Anonymous said...

Not being able to leave the hospital is got to be a crock of sh#t!

randal said...

I can't believe some of you think a hospital security guy can use a taser to stop a father from removing his child from the hospital.

Come on. He was not going any where. This is excessive force worse than Jose Offerman taking a bat to the opposing player's head.


Randal

Anonymous said...

OK, here’s the scope…Doctors may only keep you against your will for medical treatment if you’re an imminent threat to your, or others, safety. Florida has the “Baker Act”, and I’m sure other states have similar.

A Doctor has NO authority to hold you. Period. Not for any reason outside of a good faith articulation of immediate self-harm and an inability to understand the consequences of your decisions. Basically, he has to diagnosis you as crazy to keep you.

If your not crazy AND a threat to yourself or others….YOU ARE FREE TO GO AND HE CAN’T STOP YOU.

Now on just what legal theory they were being involuntarily held…I’d like to know. Much less…using a Taser! WTF!

Sounds like false imprisonment and aggravated battery to me.

And I hope I’m not overly sensitive on this one :)

L.S.

Legal Pub said...

L.S.

Good to get your input as a law enforcement officer. Seems to me the detention occurs initially because of the babies electronic bracelet. That is probably ok provided that they have a discharge against medical advice procedure.

But using a taser seems a bit harsh. I would like to know more about what Lewis said to the off duty cop/security guard.

Anonymous said...

The “against medical advice” is an absolute non-issue. Again, no doctor (absent the crazy and dangerous finding) can hold you. Period. He had an absolute right to go…with respect to the medical advice/doctor issue.

But there are many outstanding issues we just don’t know…so we sit here and Monday morning quarterback the thing. Did the officer know he was the father? Did the man’s aggressive mannerisms prevent this finding? Did the man commit an independent crime, such as offering violence to the officer? Was there a concern for child abuse? We don’t know.

It had better be a hell of a lot more than merely a father leaving without medical permission with his kid….or my position stands.

But just answering the question, “can you leave against medical advice and without discharge?” the absolute answer is YES. .

L.S.

Legal Pub said...

L.S. How about an analogy to a mechanics lien. If a garage fixes your car, can you take it without arranging for payment?

If you are in a hospital can you really just walk out without signing paper work? Perhaps in legal theory, but I have not seen it happen...

Here, there is a video of the incident. Lewis appears beligerent, but not necessarily violent in my opinion. The Officer rather calmly and unexpectedly pulls out the taser and zaps him, based on what I saw.

Was it within reason? Perhaps. Was it a smart thing to do when the baby was in his arms? I do not think so since he was going no where with the elevators electronically disabled.

I will watch this story as it develops.

Anonymous said...

Stupid use of a taser!

Anonymous said...

I’m not saying I see it happen all the time…but it does happen with enough regularity that any cop worth his salt knows this answer.

And the mechanics lein, although close, is no cigar. The mechanics’ lien gives one the right to continued possession of property, not take physical custody of a person. Two different things.

Just looks real bad…and it would take a hell of a nice set of unknown facts to change it!

L.S.

Anonymous said...

I think people are missing the point here. Yes, the man was wrong for trying to walk out with the baby. Yes, he caused a ruckus. But that still does not mean that the guard should have Tasered him. You have to look at it as the guard did not Taser the father, he Tasered the newborn. He put a child in danger, and thus should be punished. There are other methods that he could have used to get the newborn from the father such as asking him to hand it to its mother. Using the Taser was plain foolish. What if the newborn had been killed? Would people see this differently had the guard punched the father? We do not know what effects a Taser has on an infant. This baby could be harmed for life. No one seems to care about that though. It is all about the father, and all about the guard.

One more thing to thing on. Had this been a civilian that used a Taser instead of an off duty cop, he would be facing endangering the welfare of a child.

Anonymous said...

Even though he was a cop he still should be charged with endangermanent of a child.

Anonymous said...

Oh what is a little jolt of electricity among friends, colleagues or even hopital staff and visitors.

Anonymous said...

Heck he was not trying to hurt Lewis. He was just initiating a game of Taser Tag.

Legal Pub said...

Andrew Meyer

Everyone with a t.v. or a computer knows that Andrew Meyer was tazered by University of Florida police during a question and answer session with John Kerry. "Don't taser me bro," U-tube was played all over the networks. Some had questioned the use of force in using the stun gun against student Andrew Meyer. An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has now concluded that the use of the taser in this case was appropriate. Surprise! Surprise!

Anonymous said...

This was a bad taser example.

Anonymous said...

Rather shocking development!

Anonymous said...

Anyone would be SHOCKED that you can't take your kid out of the hospital!

california surfer dude said...

Is this what they mean by playing a game of TEXAS HOLDUM?

Surfer Dude

Anonymous said...

While you may make light of this, this taser lit up William Lewis with a hell of a lot of volts!

Anonymous said...

I am sure Lewis was SHOCKED by Boling's response!

Legal Pub said...

A new L.E.D. bright light which disables would be criminals may make tasers obsolete!

Anonymous said...

Forget about the LED light, we like to watch the victim shake!

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Anonymous said...

I ditto the above. Good information on Tasers!

Anonymous said...

Very good starting point for taser information.

Anonymous said...

Tasers, love them or hate them, they are here to stay!

Anonymous said...

Knock them on their butt with a Taser® M26 With Laser!

How can you miss with this one!

Legal Pub said...


Update 6-25-14: Are laws limiting the use of Tasers appropriate? As you may recall, Tasers are "electronic control weapons." Inspired by the 2012 Taser death of MacAdam Lee Mason in 2012, Police in Vermont now have stricter rules when using electronic stun guns under bill H.225, The bill requires a police oversight committee to develop a policy for how and when police should use Tasers. It also requires police to attend Taser additional training. Under the law, Tasers may only be used against subjects who exhibit active aggression or actively pose a risk of injury to others or themselves. Seems like a good law. However, should police have to also wear a camera when they carry Tasers? Tasers can be deadly!