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'Santa Cop' facing jail for Taser shot

A Broomfield, Colo., police department “Santa Cop” who ran his agency’s program to give Christmas gifts to the needy is facing up to three years in jail for an off-duty demonstration of a Taser stun-gun that injured a young girl, authorities said.

Officer William Van Arsdale will be sentenced Sept. 28 and also could face up to $6,000 in fines after pleading guilty to child abuse and prohibited use of a weapon, both misdemeanors, according to a report in the Denver Post.

Van Arsdale had been arrested after the incident happened at his home. He had been placed then on “modified duty” which meant he worked, but was not allowed to carry a weapon or wear a uniform.

Adams County chief deputy district attorney Tom Quammen told the newspaper that prosecutors dismissed a felony child abuse count, too.

Court documents have provided scanty details about the incident, but Assistant District Attorney Michael Goodbee told the Broomfield Enterprise Van Arsdale is accused of shooting a girl in the face with his Taser while demonstrating how the weapon works at his home.

Van Arsdale had served as a motorcycle officer, officials said.

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