On March 9, 2018, police were called to a Gilbert apartment complex after a neighbor reported a woman attempting to break into a car.
Gilbert Police Department
A woman is suing the Gilbert Police Department, alleging that she suffered a brain injury from the excessive force used by an officer during a drunken 2018 arrest.
Samantha Glass, 36, claims Gilbert Officer Christopher Robinson used “unnecessary and unreasonable force” as he attempted to detain her in connection with an alleged vehicle burglary. She alleges she sustained a mild traumatic brain injury from the arrest.
Body-camera footage shared with The Arizona Republic shows a clearly intoxicated Glass try to walk away from Robinson before the officer pushes her down onto the concrete. Her head hits the floor. Blood can be seen quickly pooling underneath her head as she cries out.
According to the complaint filed in Arizona U.S. District Court last week, Glass is seeking damages, as well as medical expenses and attorneys fees.
Gilbert police was unable to comment on the lawsuit as the department does not comment on pending litigation.
‘Unnecessary and unreasonable’
Glass was at a Gilbert apartment complex on the evening of March 9, 2018 to meet with her ex-husband about their daughter, according to the lawsuit. They were speaking in the parking lot when the pair began to argue. Glass’ ex-husband walked away, taking the child with him.
Glass then tried to get into her ex-husband’s car to wait for him inside the vehicle. The door was locked, though.
A neighbor thought Glass was attempting to break into the car and called the police, the lawsuit said.
According to the police report, the neighbor told police she saw the woman try to get into the truck, but ran from the vehicle after the arm went off. She then jumped a fence and sat in her own car before sitting outside her ex-husband’s apartment.
Robinson’s body camera was already recording when he arrived to find Glass sitting on the ground outside of her ex-husband’s upstairs apartment. Glass, slurring her words, told Robinson that she was doing “nothing” when questioned about why she was next to the truck.
“You can do better than that,” Robinson can be heard responding on the video.
Glass denies doing anything to the truck. She admits in the lawsuit that she was drunk. Court records show she had a blood alcohol content of 0.199%, which is more than twice the legal limit. Glass later admitted to drinking drinking three shots and one beer, according to a police report.
Glass slurs out many of her answers and struggles to fully respond to the officer’s questions. She offers to call her ex-husband for Robinson to prove she wasn’t doing anything illegal. She appears to become more frustrated and begins to curse at the officer.
“I’m not f–king doing anything wrong,” Glass says to Robinson. “If anyone has a problem you can talk to him.”
“My problem is with you right now,” Robinson replies.
Glass’ ex-husband doesn’t answer her call. Glass appears to make a mockingly sad face before pointing out that Robinson is putting on gloves.
“I am putting gloves on,” Robinson replies. “Because I’m about to grab hold of you and put you in handcuffs.”
Glass then tries to walk away and Robinson grabs her arm. She calls out for her ex-husband and attempts to break away from Robinson.
Robinson can then be seen pushing Glass to the concrete floor, face-first. Her head makes a thudding noise as it hits the ground and she sobs. Blood can be seen pooling beneath her head. Robinson tells Glass she is being detained as two other officers run up the apartment stairs to assist.
“Now you’re under arrest for failure to obey a police officer,” Robinson tells Glass as she sobs. “I told you you needed to stay here while we figured out what you were doing to his truck.”
The lawsuit describes the use of force as “unnecessary and unreasonable.”
Robinson wrote in the police report that Glass’ bottom lip split from impact with the ground. Glass cursed at Robinson and attempted to spit on him as the officers transported her to a nearby hospital.
The ex-husband told another officer that Glass had come to the apartment for help with a flat tire, the police report detailed. He refused to give her the child because he could tell Glass was intoxicated. He and the child walked to a nearby park go get away from Glass.
Glass was arrested on suspicion of extreme DUI and failure to obey a police officer. She pleaded guilty to extreme DUI in May 2018. Court records show she was never charged with vehicle burglary.
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