Angry that a motorist did not roll her window all the way down during a traffic stop, a Texas deputy reached into her vehicle and snatched her phone as she tried to record the interaction, proving exactly why she was reluctant to roll the window down in the first place.
Guadalupe County sheriff’s deputy Paul Easterling then walked back to his patrol car with her phone and drivers license, running her name for warrants, which he found none.
“I don’t know what you were planning of doing, but you could have been doing something that would be a danger to me,” he later told Sandra Sayedi as she demanded her phone back.
He eventually returned Sayedi ‘s phone along with a warning stating that she “failed to maintain financial responsibility,” an accusation that she did not have proper insurance, but she said she did provide him that information.
Nevertheless, nowhere during the entire 12 minutes of the video does Easterling explain why he had pulled her over in the first place.
It appears as if he was showing off in front of a female trainee, breaking the law in the process because he had no legal right to confiscate Sayedi’s phone.
The incident took place March 4, 2015 and Sayedi filed a complaint with the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office on April 6, which you can read here. She also obtained Easterling’s dash cam video considering he did not allow her to record her own video.
Mardid, who lives in Houston, 130 miles from Guadalupe County, also said Easterling injured her finger by snatching her phone, as you can see in the photo below.
When she insisted he return her phone, he said she would have to wait until he was done with the traffic stop.
“When I am finished with this traffic stop, you will have your cell phone, not any sooner,” he told her.
When she informed him that he had no right to lay his hands on her, he told her, “you’re lucky I didn’t pull you through the window.”
There does not appear to be a law in Texas that requires citizens to roll their windows all the way down during traffic stops.
Call the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office at (830) 379-1224 and ask to speak to Sheriff Arnold S. Zwicke, who on the department’s website encourages citizens to reach out to him , assuring where he assures citizens that deputies will “receive the best training available in order to provide the best service to the citizens of Guadalupe County.”