A teenager tased and arrested by an FHP trooper says he feared for his life.
The use of force was caught on a surveillance camera earlier this month and has been seen by thousands.
Sixteen-year-old Jack Rodeman was tased as he stood outside of his girlfriend’s home, where he had permission to be, in Lee County.
The trooper said in his own words the teen looked suspicious.
Thousands have watched the video taken in the backyard of a Three Oaks home but only Rodeman knows what it felt like when the trooper tased him twice.
“I did fear for my life,” said Rodeman who spoke exclusively to WINK News. “I wasn’t sure what was happening.”
When Rodeman fell he hit his head on the firepit.
“I was shocked and then it hurt once I fell,” Rodeman said. “I was just kind of confused at the same time because I didn’t understand why he was approaching me at first or why he tased me.”
Rodeman told WINK News he was walking to his girlfriend’s home when he saw the trooper.
In his report, trooper George Smyrnios called Rodeman “a suspicious person” who darted and hid into bushes after seeing the trooper’s cruiser.
Smyrnios said he used his Taser because Rodeman failed to obey his commands to come here, stop and put his hands behind his back.
Rodeman said he is still dealing with the pain of the fall.
“My eyes have been sensitive, like really sensitive,” Rodeman said. “My neck hurts in the back. My back still had sharp pains.”
“I’ve just been sleeping ever since I got home,” Rodeman added.
Rodeman is home back with his mom since Friday after 10 days in juvenile detention.
Smyrnios arrested Rodeman for failing to obey, resisting an officer, possession of marijuana and loitering.
Rodeman’s lawyer Sawyer Smith said he will fight to get those charges dropped and then he plans to go after the Florida Highway Patrol.
“There is no place in a free society for the government to inflict physical abuse upon a child. This is not Russia. This is America. We deserve better,” Smith said. “We will prosecute a civil case against Florida Highway Patrol until the very end.”
The use of force is under administrative review by the Florida Highway Patrol. WINK News asked for an update but there was no response.
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