- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Prosecutors have decided not to file charges against a former Kake village public safety officer who used a stun gun on two boys who wanted to know how it felt to be shocked by the device.

Charles “Mac” McGonigal is no longer employed as a village public safety officer in the southeast Alaska community, the Juneau Empire newspaper (https://is.gd/ufOWkA) reported.

McGonigal was accused of using a stun gun on the boys at their request in late November. There is no listing in Alaska for McGonigal, who could not be reached for comment Thursday.

McGonigal was playing with a group of children outside the Boys & Girls Club in Kake when three of the older children asked him to use the stun gun on them, according to authorities. McGonigal initially said no, but he ultimately allowed two of the children - the third child ended up backing out - to be shocked on the wrists by the electrical current, authorities said.

Juneau District Attorney James Scott said McGonigal showed a “horrible” lapse of judgment. But a review of the case showed no crime was committed, and the children were laughing after the incident, Scott said.

“The thing I can’t over emphasize enough is that there was laughter before, during and after the event,” Scott said. Criminal charges might have been appropriate if there had been no laughter, he said.

“If any factor - if there was no laughter, if a child after it happened said, ‘Ow, that really hurts, you should have told me how badly,’ I would maybe look at it differently then,” Scott said.

The case is a personnel matter, he said.

As a Kake village public safety officer, McGonigal had been employed by Tlingit & Haida Central Council Indian Tribes of Alaska. The council is not saying whether McGonigal was fired or resigned, or if his departure was connected to the stun gun investigation.

“Central Council’s policy is not to comment on personnel matters regarding its current or former employees, except to say that Charles McGonigal was previously employed by Central Council as a VPSO stationed in Kake, but is no longer with us,” the council’s village public safety officer program manager Jason Wilson told the newspaper.

The officers are employees of nonprofits and are not state employees. They are under the supervision of the Alaska State Troopers.

In Kake, two village public safety officers provide the only law enforcement presence in the Tlingit community of about 600.


Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

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