On Sunday, a police officer was zapped with a Taser — and that’s actually good news.
In January, 16-year-old Alyssa Elkins received a devastating diagnosis. The leukemia the McConnelsville, Ohio, resident thought she had finally vanquished had returned. Doctors told her it was terminal, and Alyssa was tired of fighting a losing battle. In 2015, she spent four months in Nationwide Children’s Hospital in nearby Columbus, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
Ready to spend her remaining time with family, she chose to end treatments.
“God loves everybody and he’s for us and not against us. He puts us through trials,” she told the newspaper. “In the end, I’m not really scared. If he takes me, I know where I’m going.”
Knowing she likely only had a few months to live, Alyssa gathered her eight siblings, put pen to paper and created a bucket-list of everything she wanted to do before she left the world behind. She filled the list with some common desires, such as petting a miniature pig, shopping for a wedding dress and visiting Disney World.
Before completing the list, though, an image she had once seen flashed through her memory.
Her uncle Josh Barry is a State Highway Patrol trooper, and during his training he had to take a Taser blast. Someone filmed the scene, and the look on her uncle’s face stuck with her. It made her think of the movies.
What would it feel like to shoot a Taser?
“Half-jokingly,” the AP reported, she added it to her list.
Unbeknownst to Alyssa, her family told police in nearby Newark about her wishes. They decided to grant a couple.
Newark Police Chief Barry Connell asked for volunteers. Immediately, six officers and two civilians raised their hands.
On Sunday, Alyssa visited the station. Waiting in a carrier designed for a kitten was a tiny pig for her to pet. Waiting in the station was Sgt. Doug Bline for her to Taser.
Sgt. Al Shaffer trained Alyssa on how to use a Taser, and then they gave her the proper attire.
Donning a police uniform, feet in black slingbacks, Alyssa looked like the real deal as she held the stun gun in her hands. A few feet in front of her stood Bline, wearing a black T-shirt, jeans and sunglasses while fellow officers held his arms, aware of what was coming.
A crowd of about 50 officers and family members stood around to watch. As a countdown, they chanted “Taser, Taser, Taser.”
Briefly closing her eyes, Alyssa pulled the trigger, and the mosquito-like buzzing sound filled the room as electricity was pumped into Bline’s back. His muscles tensed, the tendons in his neck pushing against the skin as he cried out. The officers lowered him slowly to the ground.
Alyssa moaned, seemingly unhappily.
“I don’t like inflicting pain on people,” she told WBNS. “I didn’t know it was going to be that painful, really.”
But she wasn’t finished. Barry, her uncle who inspired the day, stepped up to receive his shock.
Afterward she immediately handed the Taser to a laughing officer, stating with conviction, “I’m never doing this again. Okay. I had the experience.”
“It’s painful, but given her situation, it’s a no-brainer,” Bline later told the Columbus Dispatch. “If I were her parent in this situation, I’d be happy to know that someone was willing to do this for her.”
Her uncle echoed the sentiment, saying, “I’ll do anything for my niece.”
“It’s important for us to keep her comfortable, and doing the things on her bucket list lets us focus on other things,” Alyssa’s father, Jamie Elkins, told the newspaper.
Since writing her list, Alyssa has shopped for a wedding dress, has a message in a bottle floating around the oceans and is headed to Disney World in February.
Likely none of it, though, will be as memorable as the day she spent as a police officer with excellent aim.
Shaffer said he would “take her on my patrol team anytime.”