TN Cops Taser Middle School Cleaning Lady, Mistaking Her for Burglar
She was doing her job, cleaning the inside of a school, when she was confronted by two gun-wielding Tennessee cops, who began barking questions at her.
But the Guatemalan cleaning lady did not understand English, so all she could say was “No.”
When they continued demanding information, the woman tried to walk away, then run away.
That was when the cops chased after her, tasering her, charging her with evading arrest.
Juana Raymundo, 36, spent the night in jail, wearing a shirt with the letters “ABM,” the company contracted to clean the school every night.
The incident took place January 11 when two Collegedale police officers became suspicious when they noticed an open door at Ooltewah Middle School.
They entered with their guns drawn, even though there was no sign of forced entry. They came across some cleaning supplies outside a restroom in a hallway, but that still did not satisfy their suspicions.
They were inside a room when Raymundo entered empty-handed.
“She obviously noticed us, as she looked directly at us, appearing to be nervous and somewhat reserved,” Sergeant Jamie Heath wrote in his arrest report.
Officer Brian Desmond said he began to ask her for her identification in both English and Spanish but all she could say was “No.”
According to the Chattanooga Times Free-Press:
As Desmond tried to speak with the woman, she walked to the door where Heath was standing. He motioned for her to stop and asked for her “identificacion” and “licencia,” according to the report. She said “no” and continued to slowly walk through the room.
She then rounded a corner and began to walk quickly away down a hallway, Heath wrote. He yelled “alto” — the Spanish word for stop — and the woman began to sprint away. The two men chased after her, running through the school’s cafeteria, down a flight of stairs, out the building and into the parking lot. Heath warned the woman to stop or she would be shot with a stun gun, he said in his report.
When she didn’t stop, he deployed his Taser while running behind her. The Taser hit the woman and she fell to the ground. They then called for medical attention, according to the report.
The woman, who gave several different names to officers and seemed to have trouble understanding both Spanish and English, was an employee of the cleaning company ABM, which regularly works in the school, ABM managers told police that night. Chas Strong, senior manager in corporate communications at ABM, declined to comment Friday.
The woman was charged with evading arrest and booked into jail under the name Juana Raymundo, 36. She was released on a $750 bond and is due in Collegedale Municipal Court on March 2.
The Times Free-Press notes that while the arrest report goes into great detail to justify tasering the woman, it does not even say if the cops were wearing uniforms or if they were driving marked cars or even if they identified themselves.
One Nashville attorney questioned why didn’t they holster their weapons when realizing the woman was not much of a threat.