A Gilbert woman has filed a federal complaint against a police officer from her east Valley town, alleging that she suffers ongoing brain damage from his excessive use of force during her arrest.
Bodycam video of the arrest obtained by Phoenix New Times shows the 36-year-old woman, Samantha Glass, inebriated and resisting arrest after the officer told her she was being detained at an apartment complex. She was later convicted on related charges. But whether the officer's violent take-down of Glass could have been avoided is a question that will now play out in Arizona U.S. District Court.
According to the complaint field last week, Officer Christopher Robinson of the Town of Gilbert Police Department used "unnecessary and unreasonable force" in throwing Glass to the floor after asking about an alleged vehicle burglary.
Glass "panicked and attempted to free her arm," when Robinson tried to handcuff her, the complaint states. "The Officer, while still holding Plaintiff’s right arm, put his left hand on her back, pushed her down face-first, causing her face to violently slam onto concrete."
In May of last year, a police report of the incident relates, Glass drove to the apartment complex at 230 East Civic Center Drive, where her "ex-boyfriend" lives, because he had agreed to help repair a flat tire. The complaint, written by a local attorney Glass hired, states the ex-boyfriend is actually her ex-husband, and that she drove there to meet with him to discuss issues regarding their minor daughter.
Glass was drunk, by all accounts. The two met in the parking lot, and an argument ensued. Her ex-husband walked away, taking their daughter with him to a nearby park.
In Glass' version of the incident, documents show, she decided to sit in his car and wait for him, but it was locked. The alarm went off. She instead took the stairs to his apartment and sat down outside the door, intending to speak to him when he returned.
But other residents had seen her in the parking lot and believed she was trying to break into her ex-husband’s vehicle. They called 911, which brought Officer Robinson to her ex-husband’s apartment door.