Parent says deputy used excessive force after son streaks across football field

by: Tony Thomas Updated:

Gunner Cook was not actually Tased but he told Channel 2's Tony Thomas he regrets taking the dare from friends and running across the field.

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - A Coweta County high school student faces both criminal charges and a school suspension after he stripped to his boxer shorts and ran out onto the field during halftime of a football game.

His parents, though, said a Coweta County deputy over-reacted when he tried to stun the 16-year-old with a Taser and then later got into a yelling match with other students.

Lynne Cook, the boy's mother, said the deputy used excessive force.

"The officer fell in the infield when he was shooting the Taser. I think he got embarrassed, so I think he's taking his anger out on my child," Cook said.

Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager said no excessive force was used, but he does have a problem with the fact his deputy pulled his Taser gun in that situation to begin with.

"As far as the deployment of the Taser, I have an issue with that and I'm dealing with that." Yeager said.

Gunner Cook was not actually Tased but he told Channel 2's Tony Thomas he regrets taking the dare from friends and running across the field.

"This wasn't the brightest move? " Thomas asked.

"No sir it wasn't ," Gunner Cook said.

"You regret it now?" Thomas asked.

"Yes sir," he replied.

"Why didn't you just stop?" Thomas asked.

"Because I didn't think I was going to get in trouble at the time," Cook replied after a pause.

Channel 2 Action News obtained cellphone footage of Cook's run across the field and a confrontation the same deputy had with other students as he escorted Cook from the stadium.

The video, according to the sheriff, shows other students coming out of the stands toward the deputy and teenager.

The deputy is heard saying, "Go get you're a**es back in the stands."

He then pushes a student before telling them, "Act like you have some sense."

Yeager said the deputy used a poor choice of words and that he is being dealt with, but he stands up for his deputy, who he said has a stellar record.

"It seems like they (the parents) want to fault the system, whether it be the law enforcement side or school system, because we've done some disciplinary action," Yeager said.

Lynne Cook defends her son. She said she agrees with the school suspension but doesn't think the criminal charge is necessary.

"It was just a prank. He didn't hurt nobody, didn't tear up anything. He just made a stupid decision," she said.