07/22/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Columbia, MD – A Columbia woman who was charged with assaulting a Howard County police officers claims the cop used excessive force during an altercation that ended with him punching her in the face and knocking her unconscious, as reported by The Baltimore Sun.
The woman, 54-year-old Rita Christine admits to being intoxicated, arguing with the officer and grabbing his arm, but denies ever hitting him.
She told reporters Tuesday, July 20, 2010, “What 54-year-old woman is going to actually beat a guy up when they have a gun?” She went on to say, “To hit me with a closed fist, that is uncalled for, that’s like domestic abuse. I feel like I was violated as a woman to be punched like that.”
According to police documents, Anderson was kicked out of her 82-year-old mother’s house on July 7. After refusing to leave the premise, the elderly woman called the police.
Two officers responded to the call and observed Anderson “stumbling and slurring her words,” according to police records.
Anderson initially left the residence when police arrived, but then decided to scream an obscenity and tell officers to take her to jail.
Officer Pfc. Dale Kreller told Anderson to “stop screaming, to pull herself together and act like an adult.” Charging documents state Anderson responded to the command by slapping Kreller on his left arm and demanding the officers take her to jail.
Kreller warned Anderson not to touch him again and told her to leave, but Anderson refused and hit him again. This time, with a closed fist on the chin.
According to police records, Kreller finally responded. He “utilized a closed fist strike with his right hand to the left side of Anderson’s face,” whereupon “Anderson immediately went unconscious and fell to the ground.”
She was then handcuffed and taken to Howard County General Hospital.
Anderson says she was treated for wounds on her face, arm, scalp and buttocks that resulted from the punch and resultant fall.
The charge of second-degree assault on an officer carries a 10-year sentence.
Police report they have not received a formal complaint on the incident. Spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said Kreller “struck her in order to defend himself. There is no indication that this was anything other than an appropriate use of force because the officer was being actively assaulted.”
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