Gilbert, AZ – A woman has filed a federal lawsuit against a Gilbert police officer claiming he used excessive force as she resisted arrest but bodycam video showed what really happened (video below).
The incident occurred in March of 2018 after neighbors called police and reported a woman trying to break into a red truck parked at an apartment complex at 230 East Civic Center Drive, the Phoenix New Times reported.
When Gilbert Police Officer Christopher Robinson arrived on the scene, he found a very drunk 36-year-old Samantha Glass sitting on the ground outside her ex-husband’s apartment.
Bodycam videos showed she told the officer that she was there waiting for her “ex-boyfriend” whom she said was going to fix her tire.
However, her attorney identified the man as her client’s ex-husband in the complaint, the Phoenix New Times reported.
The lawsuit said that Glass went to the apartment building to discuss issues regarding their daughter and met up with her ex-husband in the parking lot.
They had an argument and the ex-husband walked away with the minor child, the Phoenix New Times reported.
Documents showed that Glass said she planned to wait for them to return inside her ex-husband’s truck, but it was locked and she set off its alarm. So she went up to his apartment to wait instead.
But neighbors had called 911 by then to report they’d seen her trying to break into her ex-husband’s vehicle, the Phoenix New Times reported.
When Officer Robinson arrived, Glass told him she was waiting for her ex-boyfriend and her daughter to arrive, bodycam video showed.
“What were you doing to his truck?” the officer asked.
“Nothing,” Glass replied.
“But people were watching you. What were you doing?” the officer asked again.
She told the officer she was trying to change her tire, the video showed.
The officer asked her again what she had been doing to the truck and Glass seemed utterly confused by his questions.
Then she told the officer that she wouldn’t do anything to the truck because she and her ex-boyfriend had been together for eight years and owned everything together, the video showed.
Officer Robinson asked Glass for her driver’s license but the video showed the woman said she didn’t have her identification with her.
“Is there a problem?” she asked.
“Yeah, because it looked like you were trying to break into his truck, so that’s a problem,” the officer explained.
Glass argued and said her ex had been helping change her tire.
The video showed that Officer Robinson asked Glass for her last name, but she refused to give it to him.
“Do you want me to put you in handcuffs right now then?” the officer asked.
The woman continued to give the officer attitude and argue.
“Ma’am, how about attempted vehicle break in? If you want, we can go there,” Officer Robinson said.
At that point, Glass told the officer to hold on while she called her ex-boyfriend, the video showed.
“Hey! How about you hold on and I will get him on the phone right now,” she said and stood up.
She struggled to maintain her balance standing and continued arguing with Officer Robinson while the phone rang and nobody answered.
When she started hurling obscenities at the officer, he asked her not to swear at him and pointed out that he hadn’t talked to her that way, the video showed.
“Are you f--king s--tting me? You’re the one with the problem, not me,” Glass told Officer Robinson.
As the call went to voicemail, the officer began putting on gloves and Glass made a snarky remark about it.
“I am. Because I’m about to grab ahold of you and put you in handcuffs,” he told her.
“No, you’re not,” Glass said, and started to walk away.
The officer took ahold of her arm and she started yelling.
“Are you f--king s--tting me?” she shrieked.
“Nope,” Officer Robinson replied in the video. “You are not free to leave.”
The video showed Glass began twisting around and resisting arrest and the officer pushed her to the floor to gain control of her.
Her head made an audible clunk on the ground when she went down.
The video showed that Glass continued to resist arrest and it took a second officer helping to put handcuffs on the drunk and unruly woman.
“I told you you weren’t free to leave, ma’am,” the officer told her as she began wailing at full volume.
The video showed that there was blood on the floor by the woman’s head.
Officer Robinson sat Glass up and then backup officers told him that there was a man in the parking lot who said he had been in an altercation with her.
The woman continued sobbing and wailing as officers donned latex gloves before they moved her.
When they stood Glass up, she cursed and fought them, the video showed.
She refused to cooperate so officers carried her down the stairs by her arms.
“C’mon, just walk for us,” another officer urged her.
When they reached the bottom of the staircase, Glass tried to spit on the officers, the video showed.
“Don’t spit. Don’t spit. That’s not a good idea,” Officer Robinson said as he and another officer used their hands to control her head.
Glass fought the officers the entire time they were walking to the police vehicle.
She let out a series of animal-like screams of rage and cursed Officer Robinson repeatedly, the video showed.
The officers sat her on the curb next to the police car and she began asking about her daughter in between obscenities.
An officer told her that her daughter was fine and she demanded to see her.
Officer Robinson told Glass that she wouldn’t want her daughter to see her in that state, the video showed.
When Glass learned that her ex-husband was also nearby, she began screaming his name over and over.
The video showed she fought officers as they tried to put her in the back of a police SUV and screamed her ex-husband’s name over and over at an ear-splitting volume.
Glass was arrested for extreme DUI and failure to obey a police officer, KTVK reported.
Her blood alcohol content was .199, more than twice the legal limit.
Glass admitted to drinking at work that night and then driving over to her ex-husband’s house, KTVK reported.
Court records showed that Glass was convicted on both misdemeanor charges in May of 2018 and still owed $3,000 to the court, the Phoenix New Times reported.
Her attorney, J. Scott Halverson, said Glass sustained a mild traumatic brain injury during the arrest that has left her with face pain and headaches, KTVK reported.
Her lawsuit alleges that Officer Robinson used unreasonable, unnecessary, and excessive force when he was trying to take Glass into custody.
“Police officers are responsible for taking care and not harming people,” Halverson said. “If a person is intoxicated, officers clearly know that their balance and their judgment is impaired. And instead of maybe walking behind her and following her down the stairs, he forces her down in that intoxicated state and forces her down on the concrete. That was excessive force.”
Glass has asked the court for compensation for her physical and psychological damages, including future medical expenses, the Phoenix New Times reported.
Gilbert police refused to comment on pending litigation, KTVK reported.
Watch Glass resist arrest in the video below. The incident gets physical at around the 4:45 mark.