Police said a Mesa officer lost his job because he used a stun gun on his stepson for bringing home an unsatisfactory report card. He worked for Mesa police for about six years. But some might argue he never should have been hired in the first place.
This story begins in 2002, when Larry Kelso applied to be a Phoenix police officer. According to a report from the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, he admitted on the application to using marijuana 20 times, trying LSD once and using mushrooms three times. He didn't get the job. Then in 2005, when Kelso applied to the Mesa Police Department, he left out some of those details.
"He failed to disclose he had applied for other agencies and also he had changed his answers to be more accommodating," said Detective Steve Berry with the Mesa Police Department. Berry said Mesa police weren't aware of this until Kelso's wife at the time called police and told them in August 2011. A few days after that call, Mesa police got another call, this time from Kelso's stepson.
"He had allegedly used a Taser, a department-issued Taser, on his then-14-year-old son," Berry said. Kelso's stepson told police he had brought home a report card Kelso wasn't happy with. Police said Kelso then concocted a story to explain why he deployed his stun gun.
"An aggressive dog had come into the yard," Berry said.
The stepson said the incident happened in 2007; again, police weren't aware until he called them in August 2011. But Mesa police said they immediately began investigating after that.
"We take these things very seriously," Berry said.
According to court records, Kelso claimed he used the stun gun in self-defense because his stepson attacked him with an iron. But a jury convicted him of aggravated assault and Mesa police said if Kelso hadn't resigned first, he likely would've been fired.
"Clearly this is someone the police department would not have on our force," Berry said.
Kelso's case is now up before the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board; they'll decide whether to suspend his certification, revoke it or take no action. CBS 5 News tried reaching Kelso, but couldn't find a current address or phone number for him. We also tried contacting him on Facebook but haven't heard back.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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