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Teen uses homemade stun gun in assault

| Friday, May 11, 2012, 1:26 a.m.

Ligonier police are alerting parents that some area teens have been using homemade stun guns crafted from disposable cameras.

Borough police reported Tuesday that they investigated an incident in which one male juvenile reportedly assaulted another at about 7 p.m. Friday at Friendship Park.

The victim was approached from the rear by "an acquaintance," who applied a device described as a stun gun to the base of his neck.

An electrical shock coursed through the victim's body, leaving "two small but severe burn marks," police said. The jolt caused "significant pain, a feeling of disorientation and near incapacitation."

The victim sought attention from Ligonier Valley Ambulance personnel stationed at the Ligonier High School football game, which was being played across Bouquet Street from the park. Ambulance personnel advised the youth to go to Latrobe Area Hospital, where he was later examined, treated and released, police said.

Subsequent investigation revealed the stun gun was homemade, built from a disposable camera, wires and nails. Although the voltage was relatively weak, police believe its application to the back of the neck sent the power surge close enough to the nerves in the spinal column to cause the effects suffered.

Police traced the device to an Indiana juvenile who had been visiting the Ligonier area for the weekend. He had acquired it from an Indiana High School student who reportedly was making and distributing the devices, police said.

Indiana school officials were contacted by police. However, the district's superintendent reported yesterday that there have been no reports of any problems involving stun guns at the high school.

Police said other juveniles involved in the Ligonier incident had burn marks on their arms from applying the device to themselves and each other.

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