Parkersburg Police officer uses taser to apprehend runaway juvenile

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) A 16-year old escapee is now back in custody.

But it's how she was apprehended that's raising some eyebrows.

Parkersburg Police say the girl was on the loose after leaving an "unsecured facility" in July.

She was spotted Monday at 23rd Street and Dudley Avenue, near Parkersburg High School.

Police Chief Joe Martin says when the school's police resource officer tried to apprehend her, the girl fled him.

The officer eventually used a taser to catch her.

"There's people who will question why we use a taser on a juvenile," Chief Martin said Tuesday. "If a 220-pound man tackles a kid, it's probably going to cause more injury than what a taser would; we could easily justify that. As far as our policy and proceedure, the officer did nothing wrong."

Police say the girl had no serious injuries after being checked out at the hospital.

She was taken to Wood County Circuit Court, where Judge Jason Wharton placed her in an undisclosed secure facility.

Chief Martin says, in more than 30,000 calls the police department has received so far in 2017, police have had to use a taser on a suspect 16 times.