The 72-year-old woman who was hit with a Taser by a deputy constable during a May traffic stop wants $135,000 from Travis County, but commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved $40,000 as their "firm" counteroffer.
"This is where we are. This is where we will be," Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt said.
The video of the Tasering incident appeared on Yahoo News, YouTube and newspaper Web sites from San Francisco to Buffalo, N.Y.
Deputy Constable Christopher Bieze pulled over Kathryn Winkfein's 2004 Toyota pickup on Texas 71 in western Travis County on May 11 for allegedly driving 60 mph in a 45-mph construction zone. Winkfein, of Granite Shoals, a 4-foot-11 great-grandmother, told Bieze in the video that she wouldn't sign the citation.
That led to a confrontation in which Bieze threatened to use his stun gun on Winkfein unless she complied with his orders. She dared him to use it, and he eventually did.
Winkfein was later jailed, charged with resisting arrest and released.
The incident is still being reviewed by the Travis County district attorney's office. The resisting-arrest charge is pending, said Precinct 3 Constable Richard McCain, who is Bieze's supervisor.
An internal investigation was conducted, McCain said. No violations were found, and Bieze, who is the Taser instructor in the constable's office, was not disciplined, McCain said: "He hasn't done anything wrong."
Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton said previously that he did not agree with Bieze's actions.
On Sept. 15, four commissioners approved a counteroffer of $25,000. Commissioner Karen Huber was absent for that vote.
Winkfein's lawyer Tom Tourtellotte said he would discuss the county's counteroffer with his client. He said $135,000 was his last demand and that it's less than his original offer, a figure he declined to reveal.
Winkfein is seeking monetary compensation for her pain and suffering, her medical expenses and the humiliation she suffered, Tourtellotte said. Winkfein had a skin infection from the two-pronged stun gun wound to her chest, he said. In addition, she wants the county to review its policies and guidelines for the use of Tasers on elderly people and others at higher risk, Tourtellotte said.
County Judge Sam Biscoe said, "We looked around at similar cases that involved the use of Tasers. Based on our research, the amount is fair and reasonable."
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