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Teens Use Improvised Stun Guns on Bus

March 30, 2005

ROCKPORT, Maine (AP) _ Three students at Camden Hills Regional High School face charges for using improvised stun guns on fellow students, police said.

The culprits, all freshmen boys, used the devices to shock fellow students on the bus, leaving visible burns and blisters on some of them, said Kip Bickford, an officer with the Rockport Police Department who works at the high school.

Two were charged with aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, and the third was charged with carrying a concealed weapon because he allegedly took the device to school, Bickford said.

``These kids are not bad kids,″ Bickford said. ``They’re not kids who have been in trouble. They’re not doing it maliciously. They’re being stupid.″

The teenagers learned how to convert disposable cameras into stun guns by seeing it demonstrated on ``The Man Show,″ a program on the Comedy Central cable network.

An investigation revealed that about 10 students were victims of the devices, though most allowed themselves to be shocked. Two or three were unwilling victims.

The students were altering the devices to give a shock from the charge used for the camera’s flash. A capacitor in the camera builds up the battery’s charge to 330 volts for the flash, causing a jolt that’s not life threatening, Bickford said.

Bickford said he tried the device on himself. The first time was not too bad, he said, but his arm was left numb for two hours when he tried it for a second time.

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Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangornews.com

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