A traffic stop in Indiana, Pa., has turned into a federal lawsuit for an unspecified sum. This, after a 23-year-old woman claims a veteran police detective wrongly arrested her, beat her with his flashlight and kicked her during a traffic stop.
According to the Associated Press, it all began when Karissa Nikole Smith was driving her father’s car with an expired registration after going to an evening Mass.
The AP writes:
The lawsuit, first reported the Indiana Gazette, contends Indiana Borough Detective Scott Schuller, a 20-year veteran, falsely claimed the car’s license plate light wasn’t working properly as a pretense to make the stop. The suit says the officer dragged Smith, then 23, from the car when she tried to phone her father after she was pulled over Nov. 1, 2013.
The suit alleges Schuller broke one of Smith’s teeth and caused bruises to her head and knees before she spent the night in jail on charges that were later withdrawn.
Schuller and his chief, William Sutton, on Wednesday referred questions to attorney Anthony Rash, who said he’s “confident that my clients will not be found liable in this matter.”
Online court records confirm that criminal charges of simple assault, resisting arrest, obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct were all dropped along with four traffic citations — including driving an unregistered vehicle, which Smith acknowledges she did.
Smith’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and contends she was so traumatized that she eventually moved from Indiana.