Fmr. Cop Won’t Get Job Back After Tasering Incident

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A former Minneapolis police officer fired after a Tasering incident will not be coming back to work, confirmed the police union Friday.

Todd Lappegaard lost his job after dash cam video showed him Tasering a teenager who had his hands on his squad car.

The Police Union says an arbitrator ruled in the city’s favor.

On April 30, 2009, Rolando Ruiz was arrested near the Minneapolis 2nd Precinct near Central Avenue.

According to the criminal complaint, Lappegaard saw Ruiz throwing a brick through the windshield of an officer’s personal vehicle outside the second precinct building on Central Avenue.

Video from Lappegaard’s dashboard camera caught the scene. The video didn’t show what happened before Ruiz was told to put his hands on the hood, but it did show Lappegaard use a Taser on the back of Ruiz’s neck.

Ruiz said he had already surrendered when Lappegaard used the Taser on him.

  • Randall Cheuvront

    any one of us probably would have gone after the guy ourselves if he had done this to our car so keep that in mind before you criticize TOO harshly. frankly i have little sympathy for the kid and i hope he learned something valuable about messing with people’s property.

    • Neighbor

      Randall, these are bad coping skills at best. No way to justify this. This is abuse.

  • Kat Yang

    A taser is consider a weapon period. it should never be used unless it is necessary. Unfortunately I realized alot more tasering has occurred then it should of.

    I do understand people get mad and want to take the law into their own hand but that does not allowed anyone (Even God) to use such weapon for their own excitement or pleasure.

  • Shane Gillespie

    He should of Tasered him twice. Maybe three. I would of also pepper sprayed him in the eyes while he stood there. Then popped him with my baton. He could of killed someone throwing bricks through windows. That’s what you get. You’re reckless with other peoples lives, then you deserve no respect and self pity. Bring the officer back on duty.

    • tom

      Anyone who thinks this behavior is justified is out of there minds. The police are not supposed to act like the people they arrest period.

  • Mark from MNtaxwaste

    A little common sense here please. The clown should have gotten tasered a few more times. The slime ball probably knew if he got caught he would have more rights than us. I’m sick of these losers fighting for their rights, while the rest of us pay the price. Give the cop a raise and his job back.

  • bob butthead

    The whole criminal justice system needs to be looked at. We exalt the criminal with rights and privileges and limit the police and the victim. We hire police to stop crime and place restraints on them to do their job. What is jail like anyway? Compared to other countries, our criminal element has it pretty good. Have you seen how they arrest you in Russia? They kick butt and ask questions later. In most countries were the police have authority, the laws are respected. I know, lets pay this “victim” $100,000 for police misconduct compliments from the MPLS tax payers.

    • tom

      Why would we care how Russia or any other nation handles themselves? I consider myself a leader that people look to and say look how he handles himself I feel our country should be the same way. The police are supposed to be professionals not thugs!

  • Shane Gillespie

    What is wrong with our justice system!?! This guy even sued the city and won! The city of Minneapolis is paying Rolando Ruiz $75,000!!! You go and commit a crime, destroy other peoples property, risk killing somebody, and then sue because you were tasered! You deserve every bit of it. I don’t care if your hands were up or not.You should have thought about your senseless actions before you did them and then maybe you wouldn’t have gotten that boo-boo on your neck. This is what our country needs, tough love. Crime is out of control and criminals think they can do whatever they please and get away with it. Crime would drop 50% if we added more stings to the neck. It should be law that if you commit a crime, part of the punishment is being tasered. Then maybe criminals will think twice before they act.

  • john

    You are being ignorant. He probably deserves every bit of it, but the cop CAN NOT do it. Have the judge give him 10 years in prison that would be my take. You cant have the cops dishing out the punishment. The guy deserves harsh penalties for what he did but he also deserves the money because he was assulted, there is no way around that.

    • Shane Gillespie

      Ignorant? He can’t do it?? Well he sure did it! It’s softies like you that we have such a luxurious justice system. Would you be singing a different tune if he had hit and killed an infant in a car seat with that brick? Or how about if it was your car?? Prison?? So now taxpayers need to support him for 10 years? Our prison system doesn’t work. It’s over crowded and costs billions. The point of tough-love is to prevent someone from carrying out the crime in the first place. Do you think he would have thought about the consequences of his actions before he carried them out if he knew that a taser law would require that he be stung several times in the neck?? Zzzappp, once a day, three days in a row. I bet this brick throwing incident wouldn’t have happened. In China, he could of been executed on the spot. The police would of just pulled out their guns, and bammmm, it’s over. So he has it really good here.

      • john

        If you had your own world with your ideas of how things should be you would not have many people living there. If you truely believe what you speak then you dont respect everything given to you here in America. So your saying that since China has such tuff penalties that living there would be better? I am far from a softie and the kid deserves punishment. If you were there and say this act would you have the right to go and taser him since “he deserves it?” The police have protocol that they need to follow. If you or anyone else believe it should be changed then talk to someone and get it changed, but until then the police CAN NOT do this and the man has right wether you like the idea or not.

  • john

    You said it SHOULD be the law to get tasered if you commit a crime, I agree, but it is not. So the cop is at fault here there is NO way around it.

    • Shane Gillespie

      So you’re basically justifying criminal behavior! If you don’t break the law then you wouldn’t have to worry about being tasered in the first place. But it would serve as a deterrent for those who want to destroy other peoples lives. Is that too much to ask for? If you want to harm somebody else, why should you be treated like a King? If I had my own world..everyone would be living together..peacefully. America is about freedom..not freedom to be criminally intent and ruin other peoples pursuit of happiness. What I’m saying about China is the complete opposite, that he is lucky to get a little boo-boo on his neck compared to getting killed if he were living over there. And I’m working right now to get it changed. That is why I’m voicing my concerns. Then people like you come along and ruin my futile efforts by defending the criminal. And like I said, he CAN DO this because he already did it. And just because something is written in Police Protocol doesn’t make it right.

  • wes v

    ROLONDO RUIZ is my boy! Any cop that would do that deserves to get his window smashed. Wjo knows how mamy people he assaulted before this that he got away with. Im glad he lost his job. Let it be a lesson to all you rough ass cops beatin on people for no reason, you’ll get sued and you’ll be applying at temp agencies.

  • Truth Missle

    It is difficult defending a thrown brick threw a policemans patrol car, but if the assailant was treated in the past the way this rogue officer chose, a brick wasn’t enough. The department should not have patrolman on the force who adminsh judgement before being brought before the courts. He deserves the money and an ajpology.

  • Jared Barnes

    Since the media has never published the whole story of events with this criminal no one has a right to judge. The MPD administration, namely DC Gerlicher lied to the ALJ judge and the arbitrator and they bought those lies. There was never a full investigation done on this case due to the DC’s orders. The DOJ found for the Officer. Federal and state laws and statutes DO allow the use of a Taser. The law also clearly states that an incident cannot be viewed in 20.20 hindsight given the milleseconds an officer has to make a decision. The outcome is wrong. I have worked with this officer. He is a decorated veteran cop with much more street time than anyone in the administration. While they sit in there cozy officers making decisions on how to hang cops that are doing their job the street cops are protecting our rights.

    I’m sure if this were you you would be singing a different tune. This is not a rouge cop. In his career he has arrested hundreds of people including a parent for beating, then stuffing a child in the trash. He has saved a non-breathing baby and turned him over to paramedics. He tried to save a women in a severe crash prior to paramedics arriving at the scene and held her while she dies in his arms. He singlehandedly saved a man from a burning vehicle. I might add that many ethnic groups were involved in the former incidences. He has a spotless record at the department. He is not only well liked but well respected among members of the department and the community.

    MPD was out to hang someone after the rash of bad press with actual rouge cops. Lappegaard was that scapegoat. DC Gerlicher pounding his chest and saying we care about you to the public. It is the administration that is out of control. None of the other officers in those other incidents were disciplined. Why? Officer Lappegaard does not fall into a protected class. He was the perfect victim for Chief Dolan and crew. The Officer turned on his dash cam to protect himself from this criminal with the knowledge that he had after dealing with him for over 8 hours. It is not policy to use the cam. Traffic stops are the only required event to be recorded per policy. Why would he record his demise? Those of you who believe this was wrong need to pull your head out of where ever you stuffed it, open your mind and you eyes and understand that there is more to the story than a thirty second video clip. This crime could have easily happened to you. And, no it was not a squad it was a vehicle in the visitors parking lot. The news can’t seem to get that straight either.

  • Fred

    OK, imagine the suspect is your teenage son or daughter. They got caught doing something stupid to property. They didn’t hurt anyone else or endanger anyone else. Now, they get caught by a cop, and surrender. Their hands are on the squad car and they are not resisting. And because the cop is pissed, he tasers your kid. What would you do? Being in law enforcement myself, I cannot condone what the officer did. It was wrong. The suspect was caught red-handed. Also, did the officer have auto-insurance? So it’s inconvenient to take your car into the shop to get it repaired, but that’s what insurance is for. Having your personal property damaged or stolen sucks, but it’s not the same as being injured or killed. Property can be repaired or replaced. The cop got what he deserved. Now the suspect should have to pay for the damages (even if out of the money he won by suing). Cops are supposed to set an example and enforce laws, not break them.

  • George

    If we allow the Police to be the Judges then we will be seeing news with executions. is that what you want?

  • ej

    The only reason that he was tasered is because it was a COPS car. There was no danger to an infant in the car seat or to anyone because the car was unoccupied at night in a parking lot. If this scumbag had thrown a rock through my window or yours, the cop who arrested him would not have used a taser. It really comes down to the cop dishing out justice because another cop was wronged and that is not excusable.

  • Carl

    With that much cash Mr. Ruiz is now a target of the gangsters as well as the law abiding. Good luck thug.

  • Adolf N.

    I (heart) Tazers! Tazers for ALL! “Have You Tazed Your Thug Today?”
    I can’t get that Taze out of my mouth!

  • Grizzlyman

    Maybe he is a crook, but at the time of the incident he had his hands on the hood and was not presenting an immediate threat. The officer was wrong. Period. He should have been charged with aggravated assault and jailed like any other crook, and should never be employed as an officer again.

  • Gerald

    Those of you advocating police officers in Minneapolis Minnesota conduct themselves like cops in Tijuana would, in a just world, receive this type of treatment after you’ve already surrendered.

    That cop should have done jail time for assault. Cops should be held to a HIGHER standard than regular citizens–the potential for abuse of power is too great if we don’t.

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