HOUSTON (CN) - A Houston police officer handcuffed a 79-year-old woman, kicked her to the ground, dragged her across a dark gravel road, kneed her in the chest and threw her to the floor of his police car, apparently because she didn't hand over her driver's license quickly enough during a traffic stop, the retired schoolteacher says.
Tillion Thomas says Officer Bucholz stopped her for speeding and became irritated when she asked permission to get her license from her purse in the trunk of her car.
"As Thomas was pulling her license out of her wallet, Bucholz snatched the wallet and threw it to the ground," according to the complaint in Harris County Court. After handcuffing her, Thomas says, Bucholz "kicked her in the back of the leg causing her to fall to the ground," then "violently drug [sic] Thomas across the gravel road and jammed his knees into both her neck and chest, causing severe pain and trauma."
This took place in a dark side road to which Bucholz had forced to her, she says.
After assaulting and dragging her, Thomas says, Bucholz ordered her to get up "but she could not because she was still pinned to the ground under Bucholz." So he dragged her some more, over to his car, and threw her in. She says that when they got to the police station "was physically unable to get out of the cruiser or enter the station by herself and had to be carried."
Houston police sent her to a hospital, where she was treated for injuries to her head, neck, chest, back and arms.
"Thomas' injuries have required her to seek medical attention from an orthopaedist," she says. "Her injuries have substantially limited her mobility and she continues to suffer from severe pain."
False charges of resisting arrest were dismissed, she says.
She sued the City of Houston and its Police Department, seeking damages for constitutional violations, excessive force, medical expenses and pain and suffering. She is represented by Jason Gibson.
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