NASHVILLE (CN) - A doctor trying to free a baby from a locked car, at the mother's request, was blindsided and assaulted by a Nashville policeman, who then dragged her 75 feet down the street, separating her shoulder, the pediatrician claims in court.
Dr. Stacey Williams sued Nashville Metro police Officer Michael Pyle and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, in Federal Court.
Williams says that shortly after seeing the baby and her mother as patients and leaving her office for lunch, she "observed a Metropolitan Fire Department truck and other emergency vehicles in the parking lot of her office complex."
"Plaintiff Williams identified herself to the fire department personnel as 'Doctor Williams' and made inquiry about the reason why the emergency equipment was in the parking lot," the complaint states.
"Plaintiff Williams learned that baby Jane Doe had been mistakenly locked in her mother's car.
"Plaintiff Williams was told that baby Jane Doe may have been inside the vehicle for as long as twenty (20) minutes.
"Plaintiff Williams told the Metropolitan fireman at the scene that if baby Jane Doe had been in the vehicle for 20 minutes, they needed to break the glass immediately due to the outside air temperature and potential rise in the core body temperature of baby Jane Doe."
The fireman told Williams that they had tried, unsuccessfully, to open the door with a slim jim.
"The mother of baby Jane Doe pleaded with plaintiff Williams to break the glass of the car window when it did not appear that the Metropolitan firemen were going to open the door," the doctor says in her complaint.
"Plaintiff Williams went into her medical office, grabbed a hammer and gown, and returned to the parking lot with the intent of breaking the glass to allow air inside the vehicle."
As Williams tried to break the glass, she says, she was "grabbed by an unknown Metropolitan Fire Department fireman who told plaintiff Williams to go to the other side of the vehicle to break the window."
"Plaintiff Williams went to the driver's side of the vehicle to break the glass with the hammer, but before she could break the window, plaintiff Williams was grabbed from behind by defendant Pyle.
"Defendant Pyle began to physically grab and pull plaintiff Williams away from the vehicle and down the sidewalk in a forcible and excessive manner.
"There were employees and office staff of plaintiff Williams at the scene, and they attempted to explain to defendant Pyle that plaintiff Williams was a medical doctor, and that baby Jane Doe was her patient.
"Defendant Pyle failed and/or refused to listen to the protests from the employees, and continued to physically manhandle and drag plaintiff Williams approximately 75 feet down a public sidewalk, causing her both physical injuries and extreme emotional distress."
After slamming Williams to the ground, "defendant Pyle also placed handcuffs on plaintiff Williams that were too tight and in such a manner that caused additional physical injury, including a separated right shoulder," the doctor says.
"Plaintiff Williams was placed in the back of defendant Pyle's patrol car for approximately one to one and one-half hours."
During the time in the patrol car, "a female Metropolitan police office who arrived on the scene escorted plaintiff Williams into her medical office to use the bathroom while still wearing the handcuffs, and she was with plaintiff Williams while in the bathroom stall," the complaint states.
"Upon information and belief, a Metropolitan Fire Department supervisor arrived on the scene, assessed the situation as it related to baby Jane Doe in the vehicle, and ordered that the window be broken so that she could be removed.
"Upon information and belief, the vehicle window was broken by firemen with the Metropolitan Fire Department."
Williams says Pyle issued her two misdemeanor citations, which were dismissed.
She seeks compensatory damages of $250,000 and punitive damages of $500,000 for excessive force, false arrest, reckless infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery, interference with medical care and negligence.
She is represented by David Cooper of Nashville.Follow @@kkoeninger44
Subscribe to Closing Arguments
Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.