SANTA FE — A Rio Arriba County deputy is on paid leave after using a Taser on a county jail employee last week.
It’s the second tasing incident involving a Rio Arriba deputy that has raised questions in about a month. Another deputy tased a 15-year-old special education student at Española Valley High School in early May .
Sheriff’s Office Maj. Randy Sanches confirmed that Deputy Leon Gallegos was on paid leave after what Sanches called an “accidental” tasing of a jail employee in the sally port, a secured entrance to the jail, on June 3.
“It’s still under investigation, so we’re not sure what happened,” Sanches said. “We do know it was accidental, but we just don’t know the circumstances behind the accidental discharge.”
Sanches said he didn’t know if the jail supervisor was shocked with the Taser during horseplay. Administrators at the Rio Arriba County jail did not return several phone calls from the Journal.
Sanches said he couldn’t provide additional information.
The Journal has submitted public records requests for any written reports about the incident and for jail video of the tasing.
On May 10, Rio Arriba Deputy Jeremy Barnes tased a 15-year-old special education student at the Española high school. The school district condemned the action after the Rio Grande Sun newspaper first reported the tasing and obtained and posted video of the incident. The teen’s family has filed notice of intent to sue.
Barnes, unlike Gallegos, has not been placed on leave.
Sanches said the department is reviewing its policy on taser use in light of the two incidents.