Former East Bank officer says 'tazed' woman asked for it

By Justin Anderson | May 27, 2009

CHARLESTON -- Former East Bank police officer Steve Smith says a woman who is suing him and the town over his allegedly tazing her repeatedly while she was pregnant and unwilling isn't telling the whole story.

Candice White sued the town and Smith in February over the alleged incident at her residence in July 2008.

But Smith, in a counterclaim filed last month, says White asked him to use his taser on her that day, and only complained about it after he refused to help her mother get out of trouble in a methamphetamine lab case.

Smith also filed a third-party complaint against the town's insurance company, Trident, because the company allegedly told him that while the town was covered for the incident, he wasn't.

Meanwhile, the town is trying to have certain counts brought against it by White dismissed because it says that while Smith may have been on duty the day of the tazing, he was not acting in any official capacity by stopping at the White residence.

Smith says he went to the White residence and the subject of his use of a taser arose in social conversation. Smith claims White told him that she wanted to get a taser for personal protection.

According to his counterclaim, Smith told White that he was a certified taser instructor and explained that police taking the course were sometimes subjected to a "dry stun" from the taser, not an incapacitating stun. Smith says White asked him if a "dry stun" hurt and he replied that it feels like a "very painful bee sting."

Smith claims that White then asked him if he would "dry stun" her. He says he told her his taser battery was almost dead and that the effect would be lessened.

He says he "dry stunned" White on the leg and she told him "that wasn't too bad" and asked him to do it again. Smith said he did it again.

After that incident, Smith claims he and his wife both received frequent e-mails and telephone messages from White that were of a social nature.

Then, on Sept. 1, Smith says White's mother was arrested in connection with the operation of a meth lab in Elkview.

Two days later, Smith says White called him and asked if he could take her to the Elkview location where her mother was arrested so she could get some of her mother's belongings, including her car.

Smith says he refused. White then allegedly asked him Smith could have a talk with the arresting officer in her mother's case. Smith says he again refused.

On the same day, Smith says, White sent his wife personal e-mails, none of which complained about the taser incident.

It wasn't until a meeting of the East Bank Town Council on Sept. 11 that White brought forth her verbal and written complaints against Smith, his counterclaim says. White also allegedly told the council that she did not know she was pregnant at the time of the tasing.

Smith's counterclaim against White includes counts of fraud, libel and slander. James A. Akers is representing Smith.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-252

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