Ex-Mesa cop convicted of tasing stepson says it was self-defense (w/ video) - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Ex-Mesa cop convicted of tasing stepson says it was self-defense (w/ video)

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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 1:15 pm | Updated: 11:56 am, Fri Jan 25, 2013.

A former Mesa police officer could lose his badge for good after being convicted for using his department-issued stun gun on his stepson.

An investigation into the 2007 incident revealed Officer Larry Kelso was upset at his stepson for getting a bad grade on his report card.

“He was ironing clothes in my room, and I was looking at his report card. I started to yell at him about his grades. He started cursing and yelling. Suddenly, he came at me with the iron,” said Kelso.

Kelso went on to say, ”I reacted naturally as a trained officer. I just grabbed my Taser and tased him. I had to get the situation under control."

Kelso says his actions would have been justified if he had told police the truth. Instead, he says he lied telling Mesa PD he used to Taser to get an aggressive dog under control. He says it was to protect his son from having charges on his record.

“He had dreams of joining the air force. I know if I had told the truth, it would have destroyed his future,” said Kelso.

The allegations didn’t surface until years later, when the officer was getting a divorce from the boy's mother.

“She wanted to take everything away from me,” said Kelso.

Kelso was convicted of the abuse, and now could lose his certification to be a police officer in Arizona.

“I truly regret the situation. I really do,” said Kelso.

The Arizona Peace Officers Standard and Training Board is still reviewing his case.

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