Grants woman claims police beat her at traffic stop
Posted at: 08/08/2013 6:26 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4
It started as part of the Grants Police Department's Operation Buckle Down: An initiative to crackdown on people not wearing seat belts. But one Grants woman claims a traffic stop on Monday quickly went from a moving violation to a beating.
Margie Marez is still on the mend from what she calls a beating by a Grants police officer. She said a traffic stop escalated out of control.
"You could tell he was irate. I told him I'm calling the State Police if you're going to keep yelling at me."
The police report claims that Marez didn't cooperate when she was asked to provide her license, registration and insurance. It also says Marez was asked to hang up her cell phone. She claims the officer was out of control and she was calling for help.
"At that point I don't know if he hit me with a closed fist or an open hand, but he hit me on the face. The blow just took me by shock."
Marez has a black eye, scrapes and bruises. And she's not the only one. Marez's 66-year-old mother Jane Tafoya said she was only trying to help.
"I said, here's the insurance paper that's what you wanted. He got it and he threw it and he told me 'You stay in there'. He pushed me and that's when the door hit me against my face."
Lt. Kevin Dobbs of Grants Police said he will investigate what happened. He said if the officer did something wrong, it will come out.
"We stay neutral. I, as an internal affairs investigator, stay neutral to both sides. As I said, both parts are under investigation. The actions of Miss Marez and the officer."
Dash cam video might settle the dispute. KOB eyewitness News 4 asked police if they have any, but they wouldn't tell us. KOB talked to a Grants City Commissioner who told us if there isn't any video to document what happened, like there's supposed to be for every traffic stop, he'll push to have that officer fired.