HOUSTON — A former Precinct 4 deputy from Spring faces serious charges after allegedly using a Taser on her three children.
Xochitl Ortiz, 34, is charged with three counts of injury to a child with bodily injury.
According to court documents, Ortiz used the Taser on the children in early April.
She allegedly used the weapon in drive-stun mode by placing it against the children's bodies on their buttocks, shoulder and hand. Drive-stun is used by law enforcement as a compliance technique.
The victims, ages 12, 11 and 8, told CPS and HCSO investigators that they do not feel safe with Ortiz.
Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said he was notified of the allegations on April 14 and his office worked together with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation.
Ortiz was arrested on Wednesday, May 18, and has been fired by Precinct 4.
She is being held at the Harris County Jail on a $150,000 bond.
Ortiz and her boyfriend, also a Precinct 4 deputy, both had duty-issued Tasers.
Herman said the boyfriend was also fired for violating departmental policy. We aren't naming him since he hasn't been charged in the case but court documents say his Taser was "instigated" in the investigation.
Can stun guns harm children?
Strategies for Youth, a national non-profit, says its research shows the use of stun guns and Tasers on children can be very harmful and even deadly.
"By dint of their psychological and physical lack of maturity, the use of CEWs on young people is particularly risky, threatening long-lasting permanent physical and emotional damage, and even death," the group says in its 52-page study results.
The group says Axon, the largest distributor of Tasers in the United States, recommends against using the weapons on children.