1. #1
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    Post Largo Fla--Another Party Prank Goes Terribly Wrong

    Prank mixup lands partygoers in cuffs
    Thinking they were on the trail of criminals, police pepper sprayed and handcuffed seven teen girls at a slumber party.
    By CHRIS TISCH, Times Staff Writer
    Published November 21, 2003

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    LARGO - The seven teenage girls were at a birthday party Saturday night. Kara Moran was turning 14.

    Kara's parents took the kids bowling. They got home sometime after midnight and settled in to watch Kara open her gifts. The girls, who are all about Kara's age, changed into pajamas.

    Kara's mother, Lisa Moran, said it is her family's tradition to play pranks on her daughter and friends on her birthday. So she and her husband, Jake, sneaked outside and cut the power to the house. They started tapping on the windows to spook the girls.

    The girls ran out of the house, screaming and laughing.

    They soon would fear more than tapping windows and bumps in the night.

    Largo police officers responding to a call of possible gunshots in the area chased the girls, ordered them to the ground, squirted pepper spray and handcuffed them behind their backs.

    Lisa Moran and her husband, Jake, are furious.

    "Their eyes were all bloodshot, their faces were swelled and they were all crying," Lisa Moran said. "They were all handcuffed, face-down."

    The couple say police officers acted "like loose cannons." The girls attend Indian Rocks Christian School, where they are cheerleaders, Lisa Moran said.

    But police reports indicate officers thought they had a shooting on their hands.

    Thinking the officers were part of the Morans' scare tactics, the girls didn't stop running when the officers told them to halt. Officers also say one teen refused to get on the ground when told to, which is why they used the pepper spray.

    Largo Deputy Chief John Carroll said he has assigned a captain to investigate the incident.

    "We're taking it seriously," he said. "We're looking into it further."

    The chain of events began early Sunday morning after the Morans' flushed the girls from their home, 3771 Sunset Circle, by scaring them.

    At roughly the same time, a man who lives down the street was awakened by two popping sounds.

    Though officers later determined it was fireworks, the man thought it could have been gunshots. He called Largo police. He told dispatchers he looked out his window and saw a group of kids running behind cars and darting into yards.

    Dispatchers also told officers of a burglary at the Moran house a few nights before. Officers got out of their cars and began to search.

    Officers saw the girls crouching down in the roadway. The officers identified themselves, but the girls looked back and ran.

    One officer stopped two of the girls and ordered them to the ground. They were not handcuffed.

    The other five led officers on a 100-yard chase. When police caught them, one of the girls "turned around toward this officer in an aggressive stance and yelled at me," the officer wrote in a report.

    The officer warned he would use pepper spray, but the girls didn't get down. Though the street lighting was dim, the girls were within 5 feet of the officer and should have been able to see his uniform, Sgt. Melanie Holley wrote in a memo to Carroll.

    The officer did as he had warned.

    "I emitted a short burst of pepper spray, in a short arc from left to right," the officer wrote. "The burst was not directed toward any one subject and was above head level."

    The girls got on the ground. Another officer arrived and searched the girls, who were unarmed.

    "Those five were handcuffed as a result of their failure to obey the directions and the fact that we still did not know if one of them may be armed and involved in the shots fired," Holley wrote.

    The Morans walked up to where the officers had the girls.

    A police report indicates Jake Moran, who is a firefighter, "was extremely apologetic and advised it was poor judgment on his part for letting the prank get out of hand." In her memo, Holley wrote the Morans "appeared genuinely upset at the role they played in the sequence of events."

    Holley estimated the girls were cuffed for about three minutes.

    While two of the girls were crying, the others were laughing and talking, the police report states. Holley said Kara Moran was "the only one exhibiting any discomfort" from the spray.

    Lisa Moran said she thinks the police report is inaccurate. She said the officers were rough with the children and did not listen to her pleas that the girls were there for a slumber party.

    She said after chasing the girls outside earlier that night, her husband hopped in his pickup and waited for the girls to return so he could scare them.

    "Then three people in black came out of the bushes screaming with flashlights," she said. They chased the girls.

    "I started chasing who was chasing them," Lisa Moran said. "I didn't know it was the police."

    She caught up to where the police had the girls.

    "As I was walking up, I could hear the officers yelling and screaming to them that they were all going to (juvenile detention)... and to shut up and be quiet," she said. "They were handcuffed, face down. They all were crying. They would not let me come and tell them who I was and what was going on here. I was irate."

    She said each girl suffered from the pepper spray.

    "They were crying uncontrollably," she said. "These are girls that were in their pajamas."

    Moran said she talked to each of the girls separately and got the same story from them. She said the girls told her they were getting on the ground when the officer sprayed them.

    Afterward, the girls went to bed.

    "They all slept on the floor next to each other and holding each other all night," she said.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    Is there something about the name MORAN?

  3. #3
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    George...I did not pick up on that....LOL
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    George I saw that to and began to wonder .........a birthday to remember for sure !
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    D'OH!!!!!!

    You're right Stan, I did mess up.....post edited to save embarassment
    Last edited by LadyCapn; 11-22-2003 at 06:33 PM.

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    Ladycapn must still be still have the glaze in her eyes from her recent BD celebration......She is still recovering no doubt as is evidenced by the right reply to the wrong post! LOL
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    It was an honest mistake by the cops, havent we all heard of the roving bands of pre teens going through neighborhoods causing hate and discontend all the while dressed in pajamas. I tell you something must be done about these people.
    After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

    Official Minister of Philosophy of the IACOJ

    IACOJ Probie Crusty of the year 2003

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