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Cancer patient sues St. Pete PD claiming she was mistakenly arrested

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A cancer victim is suing the St. Petersburg Police Department claiming they used excessive force when they mistakenly arrested her.

Among the multiple claims Carleen Tetreault is making in the suit, which was filed earlier this month by Clearwater attorney John F. McGuire:

— She was denied her civil rights.

— Police used excessive force when they took her from her home to the police station.

— She was falsely arrested.

— She was falsely imprisoned.

— The officers were guilty of gross negligence.

— The officers assaulted and battered her.

St. Petersburg police spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said she was not familiar with the case, but could not comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit arose from a June 8, 2015, incident. Tetreault had returned home from receiving a cancer treatment when police knocked at the door. When Tetreault went to the door, the suit says, she told officers she was ill and refused to step outside. She asked if the officers had a warrant.

“The police officers then pushed their way through the plaintiff, Carleen Tetreault’s front door, slamming her onto the floor inside of her home, flipped her onto her stomach, handcuffed her and snatched her off the ground by one arm causing her injury,” the lawsuit says.

All the while, officers were calling her “Sarah,” the suit says. Officers ignored her when she “repeatedly” told them her name was not Sarah and gave them her name, social security number, and date and place of birth. She was also wearing a medical ID bracelet with her name on it.

Tetreault was taken to the Police Department but was never told why she had been taken from her home. During her time at the Police Department, officers continued to call her “Sarah” and Tetreault continued to explain her name was not “Sarah,” according to the suit.

During the questioning, a detective asked if she wanted an attorney and she said yes. At that point, the man left the room and, when he returned, he told her an officer would drive her home.

The suit says “she was taken home in a police cruiser by one of the officers that brought her to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

“The officer who had attacked…Tetreault and drug her from her home in front of her children and neighbors then offered to buy her and her daughters pizza, as well as tried to contact someone in order to find her better housing. … Tetreault, who had scrapes, bruises and was in severe emotional distress reported to Northside Hospital emergency room that evening where she was treated and released. … Tetreault is continuing treatment for her injuries.”

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