Cop Watch

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Universal Under Fire After Disabled Man Shot With Taser Gun

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A 45-year disabled man is considering possible legal action against Universal Studios Orlando after he was shot to the ground by an off-duty Orlando police officer patrolling the theme park, according to an exclusive Problem Solvers investigation.

In 2004, Christopher Traub and family went to Universal Studio's Halloween Horror Nights as part of a family reunion.

Traub, who had both of his ankles crushed in an elevator accident in the '80s, said during his visit to the theme park, he was abused by police and shot with a Taser gun, according to the report.

"I just couldn't believe what happened," Traub said. "I was like, one minute we were at a park and happy, and the next minute, I'm on the floor and I hit my head."

An off-duty Orlando police officer working security at the theme park literally blew Traub off his feet, Local 6 News reported.

"He pulled out his Taser gun and shot me," Traub said. "I was 4 feet away from him on the other side of the ropes."

Tom Luka, who is representing Traub in a possible legal case against Universal Studios, said his client was just trying to reason with the officer to keep his son from being kicked out of the theme park before he was shot with the Taser gun.

"He used brutal force against a man who could not even defend himself," Luka said. "He (Traub) posed absolutely no threat to this officer. This officer turned around, pulled his Taser and shot him once in the chest."

Traub was thrown into a beverage stand and cut his head, nose and eye, according to Luka. He was reportedly refused any medical treatment, Local 6 News reported.

"When you go to a theme park, there might be a danger severe force may be used against you or your family." Luka said.

Orlando police say the officer in this case has not been disciplined and even though he was "off-duty," by law, he is still authorized to use his Taser gun.

Universal Studios says they often hire police to patrol the park and have no plans to change their policy to prevent off-duty officers from using Taser guns against other Universal customers, according to the report.