WEST READING, Pa. - A ranking police officer has been arrested in connection with the stun gun shootings of his father and two fellow officers, authorities announced Tuesday.
Matthew Beighley, a sergeant with the West Reading Police Department, turned himself in to authorities on various misdemeanor charges and summary offenses, including use or possession of electronic incapacitation device and harassment, officials said.
He was released on $10,000 unsecured bail. He is currently on administrative leave from the police department, said Allan Sodomsky, Beighley's attorney.
Beighley, 35, is accused of using a department-issued Taser on two of his fellow officers inside the borough's police station on separate occasions while they were all on duty.
Detectives said he also used the Taser on his father last year while he briefly lived with him in Topton.
The alleged incidents happened between May 2009 and March 22, 2011, authorities said.
According to court documents, Beighley described the latter incident in an interview with detectives in May by saying that his father "opened the door [to Beighley's bedroom in the attic] and I popped him with it." The elder Beighley then fell to the floor, but did not require any medical treatment.
Beighley told detectives he recorded video of the incident involving his father, which he sent to his brother and uploaded to YouTube.
According to a news release provided by the Berks County District Attorney's office, Beighley joined the West Reading Police Department as a part-time officer in May 2000. In 2008, he was promoted to a criminal investigations detective. He became a sergeant in January 2011.
Beighley, who also serves as a Taser and SWAT instructor, drafted the department's original policy on use of Tasers in 2004, detectives said. In April 2009, 69 News interviewed him for a story about the general policies involving the proper use of a Taser.
The Taser X26, which Beighley is alleged to have used, uses propelled wires and direct contact to conduct electrical energy that affects the sensory and motor functions of the service system, causing pain and incapacitation, officials said.
Allentown, PA 18102