NEW HAMPTON, Mo. A Christian homeschooling organization has filed a legal challenge against a Missouri sheriff and his deputy after they pepper sprayed and tasered a couple in front of their children when they refused to let them in the house without a warrant.
The situation occurred in September 2011 after a Missouri Child Protective Services (CPS) agent had visited the home of Jason and Laura Hagan of New Hampton following a complaint of a messy home. When the caseworker sought to return a second time for a follow-up, the couple refused. CPS then called the police.
According to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA),Sheriff Darren White andChief Sheriffs Deputy David Glidden then arrived at the home, seeking to enter. Mr. Hagan told the men that they needed to obtain a warrant from a court.
When Glidden stated that he would enter anyway, Hagan turned to go back in the house, and was consequently pepper sprayed in the back of his head, and then in his face. Mrs. Hagan was then sprayed as well.
As Mr. Hagan was still standing after the ordeal, he was then tasered, which caused him to fall to the floor just inside of the door. Mrs. Hagan then closed the door on the deputy.
But at this point, White joined Glidden on the porch, and together they busted open the Hagans door, forcing their way inside. They found both Mr. and Mrs. Hagan lying on the floor and began pepper spraying them again. They also sprayed a chemical agent on the dog and threatened that they would shoot if he did not stop barking at them.
The Hagans were then handcuffed and charged with child endangerment and resisting arrest, and the children were taken to the hospital for exposure to the pepper spray used by the sheriff and his deputy on their parents. The children at the time were ages 13, 10 and 8.
As the Hagans were then forced to appear in court to answer for the charges, a judge instead found that Glidden and White had violated the couples Fourth Amendment rights by forcing entry into their home without a warrant.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized, the constitutional amendment reads.