Ex-Deputy Apologizes to Woman He Tased With Cake Text


A Florida woman has filed a civil lawsuit against a former Escambia County deputy who allegedly discharged a stun gun into her chest and neck without provocation, tried to cover up the incident, then apologized with a texted picture of an off-color cake.

The suit, filed in federal court by Stephanie Byron in May, also names Sheriff David Morgan in his official capacity as sheriff. The suit alleges Michael Wohlers used excessive force against Byron, violated her civil rights, committed battery against her and caused her hardships, including physical injuries, monetary loss, medical expenses, humiliation and mental anguish.

Wohlers’ attorney denied the allegations in a written response to Byron’s complaint.

The incident allegedly occurred in June 2015, when Wohlers finished his patrol shift and stopped to visit Byron at an apartment complex where she was employed. Documents from the Sheriff’s Office and the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission say Wohlers discharged his stun gun during “horseplay” with Byron, but Byron and her attorney said Wednesday there was no “play” involved in the incident.

The suit alleges when Wohlers arrived at the apartment complex, he “used his apparent law enforcement authority to intimidate, harass, and threaten plaintiff … about her personal life. Because Wohlers did not like how Plaintiff failed to respond to his show of authority, Wohlers became increasingly aggressive toward employees at the apartment complex’s office, including with Ms. Byron.”

The complaint claims Wohlers took Byron’s sweet tea from her and refused to give it back. When Byron approached Wohlers to retrieve the drink, he allegedly discharged the stun gun into her chest and throat. The complaint also alleges when Byron fell to the ground, Wohlers “jumped onto Ms. Byron, kneeing her in the chest” and “forcefully removed the Taser prods.”

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SOURCE: USA Today; Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, Kevin Robinson