Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — An Alamosa City councilor who waved a stun gun at his son during a lawn-watering dispute was sentenced on Thursday to nine months of unsupervised probation.
Alamosa County Court Judge Daniel Walzl also ordered Leland A. Romero to donate $200 to a local charitable group of his choice.
As an alternative, the judge gave Romero the option of paying a $200 fine, along with another $51.50 in standard court costs and fees. In addition, he recommended that Romero and his son should jointly attend a conflict prevention and resolution program, if possible.
Romero previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment, leading the district attorney’s office to dismiss a second charge of unlawful use of a stun gun.
An officer who responded to the May 11 incident said Romero reported that he was trying to evict his son Lucas from the rental property. But the eviction process wasn’t going very well, he said.
Romero, 49, told the officer that he was trying to water the lawn in order to keep the grass from dying. But his son kept turning the sprinklers off, he said.
When the officer asked Romero about the stun gun, Romero pulled the device out of a pocket and handed it over to him. Romero told the officer that he never turned the Taser on, but his son disputed that statement.
Lucas Romero said the argument began when he stepped outside his home to shut off the sprinklers. As he did so, his father told him: “don’t turn off those (expletive) sprinklers.”
The son replied that he needed to turn them off, since they’d already been on for three hours.
At that point, his father began to walk toward him, warning him that he would “(expletive) him up” if he touched the sprinklers.
Lucas Romero ignored the warning and bent down to the ground in the direction of the sprinklers. His father then pulled a Taser out of his pocket, turned it on and lunged at him, he said.
In response, Lucas Romero ran inside the house, locked the door and called police.
However, Leland Romero’s written statement on the incident contradicted his son’s version of events.
He said his son threatened him when he dropped by the house to take care of the lawn. When he told his son to leave the water on, Lucas Romero lunged toward him, called him a “little b---h” and waved his hands in a threatening manner, he said.
Lucas Romero then began to egg his father on, telling him: “let’s go, little b---h,” he said.
When his son raised his hands a second time, Leland Romero pulled the Taser out of his pocket and said: “don’t you dare.” Lucas Romero then backed away and went into the house, his father said.
The officer reported that he found inconsistencies between Leland Romero’s verbal and written statements; a woman who was present at the scene also confirmed Lucas Romero’s version of events.
No one was injured during the incident.