San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore on Monday defended the actions of a deputy who used a Taser to subdue a 13-year-old runaway in Fallbrook who was resisting arrest.
The deputy had repeatedly asked the teen to get into the patrol car so he could be returned to his mother, Gore said at a news conference.
The teen's mother had told the sheriff's department that her son, described by Gore as 5-foot-6 and 145 pounds, had been missing for a day and a half.
The teenager refused the deputy's command and then began resisting when the deputy attempted to handcuff him, Gore said. The boy bit the deputy on the forearm, he added.
"In actuality what we had was an out-of-control juvenile," Gore said.
After being bitten, the deputy applied the Taser to the teenager, Gore said.
The incident occurred Saturday afternoon near a shopping mall store where teenagers often congregate to skateboard.
A bystander filmed the confrontation on his cellular phone. The video has been shown on local television.
Later during the weekend, the front of the sheriff's department's Fallbrook station was vandalized with spray paint and windows were broken on several patrol cars. Gore said it is unclear whether the vandalism is connected to the Taser incident.
After being handcuffed and put into the patrol car, the teenager was taken to the hospital for an examination before being booked into Juvenile Hall on charges of resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.
Any use of force "is not pretty," Gore said, but in this case, "I think it was an appropriate use of force."
The confrontation, including the video, will be reviewed by the department's critical incident review board, which is standard procedure.