Woman: Cop punished me like a dog

Created: 07/15/2014 10:05 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A woman admits she left her dog in a hot car parked in grocery store parking lot last month in T or C, but called to tell KOB there was much more to the story.      

She claimed a police officer made her suffer the same "hot" punishment as her dog.

She even filed a formal complaint against the officer, who she said made her sit inside her hot vehicle with her young child and boyfriend while he wrote her a ticket.    

But the officer's lapel video tells a different story.

When Belen woman Shelly Nicholas finished shopping at Bullock's Supermarket in T or C on Monday, she was greeted by cops.  

"This is your truck?" an officer called out on lapel cam video. "Over 90 degrees you keep a dog with no ventilation in there?"

Nicholas had left her dog in the car -- only for ten minutes she said -- an officer used a chart to estimate the temperature inside.

"114 after 10 minutes," said the officer.

Nicholas tries to reason with the officer in the video.

"Feel the, feel the interior," she said.  

"Ma'am, you have to understand the law," the officer replied.  

"I understand," said Nicholas.

"I don't think so cause you're laughing at me," said the officer.  

The officer decided to write a ticket, but not before editorializing a little.

"You can wait in the truck and close the door you know, since it's 'not that hot,'" the officer said to Nicholas.

He repeats the comment to another officer on scene.

"She gives me an attitude from word one, and then she doesn't want to close the door. So I'm like, 'Oh, but it's OK if your dog does,'" he said.

But Nicholas filed a formal complaint against the officer.

In the complaint she said he, "... ordered that we enter the vehicle, close all doors, roll up all windows..." and calls him, "... abusive." 

But officer Vincent Kriescher said his lapel cam tells the real story.

"It's recording now," he said, demonstrating the equipment.

"From the time that I reported on the scene to the time I left the scene was a total of twelve minutes," he said. "She was very callous and carefree about it."

The comment, he said, wasn't an order.

"I says, since it's not hot, it's cool, just sit in the car and wait," said Kreischer.

It's something Kreischer says folks should think about before they leave pets in the car, even if it seems like a few moments.

Even though Nicholas was the one who tipped off KOB about this story, she said she was busy taking a test for school Tuesday, and couldn't talk.      

She was written a misdemeanor animal cruelty citation.

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