Stun Gun Incident At Middle School In Denver Sparks Lawsuit
DENVER (CBS4)- A lawsuit against Denver Public Schools focuses on a student at Horace Mann Middle School, who was shocked with a stun gun by an employee in 2006.
Sal Rivera,16, was shocked with 200,000 volts by a man responsible for disciplining students.
Rivera was accused of tripping another student. The school had a program to deal with minor issues called Teen Court. That program was run by Shaun Ellis, 25.
The lawsuit claims it was just one of several incidents involving Ellis.
Ellis punished Rivera with a form of a stun gun called a stun pen. He shot 200,000 volts onto Rivera’s neck and arms. Ellis eventually pleaded guilty to second degree assault with a deadly weapon.
According to the lawsuit, the school had several earlier warning signs about Ellis, including a claim of stalking, hiding in a boiler room and one much more serious involving another boy.
Just a few weeks before the stun gun incident, Omar Roman was called out of class by Ellis. He was taken to a lounge on an off-limits floor of Horace Mann.
In an affidavit, Roman described a sexual advance by Ellis, “He touched my hair. He touched my arm, neck, back and leg.”
“He never wanted to talk about what Ellis did to him. He always said, ‘I am okay. Don’t worry about that,” said Roman’s sister Cristal Nereida Roman.
Only after the stun gun incident the school security director revealed she and another staff member had confronted Ellis. They had accepted his explanation that he was just having a private conversation with Roman.
“After that happened he just started to change,” said Roman.
The problems for the boy grew. Four years later, Omar Roman took his own life.
Denver Public Schools issued a statement that it regrets the stun gun incident, “The employee’s actions were reprehensible and completely outside the scope of his employment. No district employees are permitted to carry stun devices of any kind and this employee was terminated immediately after this incident was reported.”
The trial is set for Denver Federal Court before Judge Richard Matsch.