MCALESTER — A McAlester police officer is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon after he used a Taser on a handcuffed woman who spit on him back in June.
Officer Sterling Taylor-Santino, a five-year member of the police department, was charged Friday in Pittsburg County District Court with one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Police Chief Jim Lyles said Friday that Taylor-Santino was pulled off patrol and has been assigned to “some type of desk duty” until the case is resolved.
The officer already has been disciplined internally, the chief said, and was given an unspecified number of days off without pay.
An affidavit filed by an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent states that Taylor-Santino used his Taser on Nikina Williams after she spit on him at the Pittsburg County jail.
Court documents show that Williams was arrested for being drunk in public in the early morning hours of June 24.
Taylor-Santino was attempting to help book Williams, who was handcuffed, when she spit on him, records show. The officer used his Taser immediately after he was spit on.
“Due to the close proximity, there was not a good connection and Williams did not fall to the ground,” the agent wrote in the affidavit.
The affidavit does not state whether Williams was injured in any other way or whether the officer violated any policies when he used his Taser.
Taylor-Santino appeared in court Friday and pleaded not guilty. The officer was released on his own recognizance.
A preliminary hearing conference is set for Dec. 14, court records show.
Correspondent John Yates