Sheriff's officials defended their use of a Taser stun gun to subdue an autistic teenager who left a social services center where he was being treated.

"It was necessary," sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said Tuesday in defense of the use of a Taser stun gun to subdue 15-year-old Taylor Karras.

He said the teen is lucky to be alive.

"If that were your son, would you want him Tased or hit by a car?" Amormino asked.

The teenager bolted from a social services center in Westminster on Monday and had walked 15 miles when sheriff's deputies received a call of someone running in and out of traffic on busy Newport Ave. Sheriff's Lt. Larry Jones said a deputy fired the Taser after a second car swerved to avoid hitting him.

The teen was home with his parents Tuesday, uninjured and no charges filed. But his parents said they believed deputies overreacted.

"They (deputies) should have been on alert that there was a missing autistic teenager in the area," William Karras said.