78-year-old Mary Poole after she was pepper-sprayed twice in the face.
A California school district is now being sued by a 78-year-old grandmother who was allegedly pepper-sprayed and manhandled by a school police officer, all because she wanted to give her granddaughters cupcakes and cookies.
Mary Poole reportedly suffered a fracture and dislocated shoulder in the incident last year at Kastner Intermediate School in Fresno, California, leaving her more than $180,000 in medical bills.
According to KFSN-TV, the woman was dropping off treats for the girls when she says the Clovis Unified police officer asked her to leave because of a court order against her. Poole was delivering the goodies since the girls’ parents are embroiled in divorce and custody proceedings.
The station says Poole was the guardian of her son’s daughters for several years, but the custody dispute left her unable to see the girls. However, there’s no court order against her.
“I hadn’t seen my granddaughters for some time and I wanted to see them, and so I baked some cupcakes and bought some cookies for my granddaughters’ classroom,” Poole told the station.
As she was waiting at the class door, an officer told her she had to leave.
Poole says she departed the campus but pulled her car over in front of the school.
“He wouldn’t listen to anything I had to say, period,” said Poole. “Every time I tried telling him anything … I mean, I was even telling him, ‘I’m 78 years old,’ before he grabbed me. He sprayed me with mace twice.”
Watch video coverage by KFSN-TV:
Poole says she telling her son what happened on the phone, and that’s when the officer became confrontational.
“And I was very frightened, and I told him to call the police and he said, ‘I am the police,’” said Poole.
“He jerked me out of my car with my left arm with such great force, and then threw me onto the pavement. From there he dragged me by my left arm up to the school grounds,” said Poole.
In her lawsuit filed Monday against Clovis Unified School District, Poole claims excessive force, elder abuse, assault and false arrest.
“The amount of force it took to inflict these injuries is testament to what happened that day,” Mark Coleman, Poole’s attorney, told the ABC affiliate.
He says the officer should have been trained properly to handle such a situation.
Poole, who stands less than 5 feet tall and weighs about 110 pounds, was never arrested.
While Clovis Unified has not commented on the suit, the officer still reportedly works for the school district.
Cupcake cop goes ballistic on grandma, 78
Tue, 24 Feb 2015 17:45:30 GMT