A mother is suing a California city and several police officers, alleging a cop battered her by punching her in the face during an arrest as her young children looked on, court records show.
Cindy Hahn, 40, was leaving a birthday party with her 11- and seven-year-old children on July 31, 2013 when she asked a police officer with the City of Carlsbad Police Department why he was standing in front of a car doing nothing as its alarm went off, according to a complaint filed by her attorneys.
“Mind your f****** business,” the cop allegedly replied.
Hahn called the non-emergency police hotline to complain about the interaction and when she got into her car to drive home, the officer followed behind in his police car, her court documents charge.
The officer “immediately pulled her over on the pretextual grounds that the driver of the vehicle had a seatbelt violation” and arrested her, the complaint said, noting that Hahn allegedly never received a citation for a violation.
The cop then “had Ms. Hahn exit the vehicle and began attacking her in front of her children who were in the back seat of the car. While she was being beaten and pummeled, Ms. Hahn was crying out for help,” her court documents said.
Another officer joined in on the scuffle, allegedly punching Hahn in the face with a closed fist “until she was limp on the floor. Ms. Hahn’s clothes were almost ripped off,” her court papers claim.
Video of the arrest shows a cop punching a woman’s face with a closed fist as she repeatedly yells out “help me.”
The video captured an officer pulling down Hahn’s dress while getting her off the ground.
“She was at the party; she’s one of the family members. She didn’t do anything. I came out, I heard her screaming. They’re jumping on her and beating her up,” a woman who filmed the ordeal can be heard saying during the video. “She didn’t do anything wrong. Nothing.”
Hahn claims that she suffered permanent memory loss, brain trauma and other physical and emotional injuries from the incident.
All criminal counts against Hahn were dismissed by the District Attorney’s Office reportedly after the office was presented the video evidence of the incident.
She still plans on suing, however, and her father, a former police officer, said the lawsuit is justified.
“There was no need to punch her in the face when he ran up on the scene. There was no need to punch her any further. All he did was deliver a lot of punishment that was totally unnecessary,” Hahn’s father, Mike Dalton, told KCAL-TV.
A request for comment from the police department was not immediately answered.
The City of Carlsbad issued a statement to KCAL-TV, saying: “The City of Carlsbad looks forward to bringing this lawsuit before the proper judicial authorities as soon as possible. We are prepared to provide a complete and detailed account of the facts of this incident in a courtroom, not in the media.”