Student's suit alleges false arrest, excessive force by campus police

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Mar. 1, 2010, 4:10am

SHERMAN -- A University of North Texas student alleges she was wrongfully arrested by the campus police and that officers used excessive force.

Alleging violations of her civil rights, Jasmine Montgomery filed suit against the University of North Texas, University President Gretchen Bataille and campus police officers John Barcelo, Chris Deaton, Richard Deter, Ricky Olivarez, Jeremy Polk, Ed Rolins, Jim Geoffery, Lee Jackson and Christopher Turner.

The suit was originally filed Jan. 20 in the 367th Judicial District of Denton County, but the defendants removed the case to the federal court in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on Feb. 22.

Montgomery alleges that on Feb. 28, 2008, she was riding as a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by police. The police proceeded to arrest the driver for driving while intoxicated and the plaintiff for public intoxication.

According to the complaint, the police state that the plaintiff was visibly intoxicated and resisted arrest by removing her own handcuffs and physically lashing at the police officers using her high heels.

Montgomery claims that the police video shows that she was not intoxicated and that she cooperated with the campus police but received several injuries as the police slammed her down onto the patrol car.

Further, she alleges that the police continued to harass her by arresting her twice for the same charges.

In addition to 12 civil rights violations, the lawsuit alleges the defendants are guilty of negligence, conspiracy, assault, battery and breach of contract.

The 21-year-old is seeking damages of more than $150,000 for past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation, outrage, prejudgment interest and punitive damages.

Houston attorney Sonya Chandler-Anderson is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider will preside over the case.

Case No 4:10cv00073

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