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Randall Jeppsen and Whit Johnson reportingA video of a Utah Highway Patrolman is getting big play all over the Internet. So, is the trooper in the right or the wrong?
The man has filed a complaint and is threatening to sue the Utah Highway Patrol for being wrongfully tasered. He got his hands on the trooper's dash-cam video and posted it all over the Internet.
This whole thing started with a speeding ticket that escalated into much more very quickly. The Utah Department of Public Safety is now trying to figure out whether or not the trooper's actions were justified.
Posted on popular Web sites like YouTube, a trooper with the UHP shows the world what can happen if you resist arrest. The incident happened near Vernal in mid-September. Jared Massey, the driver of an SUV was pulled over for speeding. His wife was in the passenger seat; his toddler was in the back.
In the video Massey clearly becomes frustrated about the citation, demanding to know how fast he was going.
The trooper said, "Well, you're going to sign this first."
Massey replies, "No, I'm not. I'm not signing anything officer."
And the trooper says, "OK, hop out of the car." He then attempts to place Massey under arrest. "Turn around, put your hands behind your back."
You can see in the video that Massey ignores the command and proceeds to walk toward the car. He's then tasered.
Massey spoke to KSL Newsradio. He says, "I'm laying there on the ground, and I start coming to and I hear him yelling at me another command, and before I can process it, he's telling me to roll over, he hits me with the Taser again.
"I gashed my head open and had cuts and bruises on my back, and they had to take me to the hospital."
He's threatening legal action.
Meanwhile, the Utah Department of Public Safety is trying to answer some questions of its own. Sgt. Jeff Nigbur said, "I do not know what that particular trooper was thinking about, what he was concerned about, whether he felt his life was in danger, whether he was worried about the driver's life so close to traffic. I don't know."
If you refuse to sign a citation, troopers can give you another citation or, in some cases, they can place you under arrest. That's what happened in this instance.
The investigation should be complete sometime next week.