Bryce Masters, 17, was on his way to his friend’s house to play XBox games with him on Sunday afternoon, when unfortunately for him a woman whose name was associated with the car he was driving had an outstanding arrest warrant. As Bryce stopped in front of his friend’s house, a police car pulled in behind him.
There are conflicting stories about what happened next. The police officer says that Masters refused to roll down his window, but his friend who was watching from his front yard says that he heard Masters tell the officer that the window was broken and couldn’t be rolled down.
At some point there was a struggle, although the witnesses and police differ on where the struggle took place and how violent it was. The police say that Masters refused to get out of the car, but others say the officer opened the door and tased Masters before dragging him from the car where his head hit the pavement.
Cell phone videos show the officer, Tim Runnels dragging Masters’ limp body out of the street to the sidewalk where he stood for at least 5 minutes with his foot resting on the boy’s back.
“You could tell the kid was going into convulsions. He turned him over and his head was dangling like this and he had blood coming out,” said Michelle Baker a witness whose cell phone video was one of those showing Masters being dragged to the sidewalk and Runnels standing with his foot on him.
“I hear him say from my porch he’s like ‘I can’t roll down my window it’s broke,” said 17 year-old Curtis Martes, the friend Masters was coming to visit.
Martes said that when the officer told his friend to get out of the car, Masters began to record the incident on his cell phone. It was at this point that Runnels went into the car and tased him, shouting that he was under arrest.
“He was like ‘what am I being arrested for?’ The cop just grabbed him and said ‘you’re under arrest,'” said Martes.
Masters remains in the hospital in a medically induced coma with swelling of the brain.
Runnels is on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
Agents from the Kansas City office of the FBI have begun investigating the Independence Police Department for excessive force but the department says that there was no excessive force used and that the officer had acted within departmental guidelines.
Major Paul Thurman says that he believes Runnels’ version of events.
Watch a local report on the incident below.