Bridgeport mother says police used excessive force on son - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Bridgeport mother says police used excessive force on son

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The YouTube video shows 19-year-old Phil Giacobbe riding his ATV down East Main Street, when an officer pulls in front of him. (WFSB) The YouTube video shows 19-year-old Phil Giacobbe riding his ATV down East Main Street, when an officer pulls in front of him. (WFSB)
BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

A teenager was shot with a stun gun after illegally riding his ATV down the middle of a Bridgeport street.

Now his mother is claiming police used excessive force.

Internal affairs is investigating the incident.

While the teen said he wasn’t doing anything wrong, police are painting a different picture.

The YouTube video shows 19-year-old Phil Giacobbe riding his ATV down East Main Street, when an officer pulls in front of him.

"He tells me to get off my bike, I get off my bike, was about to put my hands behind my back and that's when he tased me,” Giacobbe said.

He said he was out with his younger brother Saturday when the incident happened.

In the video, it appears the officer first grabs the teen around the neck and then backs off. After a few seconds, the video appears to show Giacobbe getting off, but as he moves toward the officer, he is shot with the stun gun.

Giacobbe said while he was on the ground he was shot with a stun gun a second time.

"I was very upset, there could have been another way of approaching him, pulling him over, not using the stun gun, talking to him. It was just inappropriate,” said the teen’s mother Laura Giacobbe.

According to Bridgeport Police Capt. Brian Fitzgerald, the officer said the teen was doing “wheelies” down busy East Main Street, and that at first he ignored his command to get off the bike.

"The police officer perceives some type of threat when the driver of the ATV moved towards him and at that point the driver was tased,” Fitzgerald said.

For now, officials said the officer was taken off patrol as police investigate.

"Our police officers make split second judgments based upon the facts and circumstances as they perceive them at that moment, and sometimes its only upon later review that we find more information and that's what the internal affairs investigation is about,” Fitzgerald said.

"Yes, he shouldn't have been riding an ATV, but this does not give a reason to use a taser, excessive use of force,” Laura Giacobbe said.

The internal affairs investigation is ongoing.

Giacobbe said he was arrested and given four tickets for driving without registration, driving without insurance, reckless driving and interfering with an officer.

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